There have been many books focusing on the Holocaust and World War Two, and Chris Bohjalian sets himself quite a task when he set out to write the story (based in part by a personal diary ) set in the waning months of World War two.
But this story is told in a different manner to many of the fictionalised books out there as the author takes on the difficult task of telling this story from many points of view.
A Prussian family, a Scottish POW assigned to work on their farm, and a Jew disguised as a Third Reich soldier attempt to escape and try to stay well ahead of the fast-approaching Soviet army. Tales of atrocities to which the Soviet army has subjected their prisoners is enough to force the group on their way west through a countryside ravaged by war.
The novel also tells the story of Cecile a Jewish woman captured in her homeland of France and sent to a forced labour camp.
I have read quite a few books on the second world war and on the Holocaust and they always shock and sadden me and make me question how human beings can inflict such pain and horrors on each other in the name of war and while this is a difficult book to read as the author does not spare us any of the horrors, it is an good historical novel.
The plot for this Novel is haunting and quite a page turner, this is really a character driven novel and the characters are so engaging that they will stay with you long after you put down the novel. An emotional book that will shock and sadden even the most hardened reader.
While this is a story of love in the time of war the horrors of war far outweigh the love story.
This is only the second novel I have read by Chris Bohjalian and I will be adding more books by this author to my list.
Quote "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that"
Quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.