... meticulous reporting and sensitive, compelling storytelling ... the gripping story of anyone navigating life in a war zone ... The structure of Inge’s War works brilliantly, moving back and forth between Inge’s life in the 1940s and O’Donnell’s contemporary action ... O’Donnell has told a riveting and important story, one that focuses so tightly on Inge and her family in its level of detail—physical, temporal and emotional—that it becomes universal. The reader can see these places, feel what these people felt, understand their trauma and pain. Living in wartime becomes palpably real ... By the time Inge reveals her dark secret to her granddaughter, the reader has slowly, breathlessly figured it out. It is just one more shattering detail in a life forever damaged by war.
... meticulous research. This compelling testimonial details the deprivations German citizens faced during the war and reveals a dark part of Danish history. The perspective is enlightening and the accounts of sexual abuse are timely to the continuing Me Too discourse. This memoir deserves a wide audience.
[O'Donnell] lets events unfold chronologically while seamlessly interspersing conversations with her mother and grandmother, both natives of Germany, with her own research and travel to important family landmarks in Europe ... O’Donnell provides thoughtful commentary every step of the way ... O’Donnell has created a story that reads like a novel filled with fascinating history and excellent detective work.