Skeletons at the Feast
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In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.
Among the group is eighteen-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family’s farm as forced labor. And there is a twenty-six-year-old Wehrmacht corporal, who the pair know as Manfred–who is, in reality, Uri Singer, a Jew from Germany who managed to escape a train bound for Auschwitz.
As they work their way west, they encounter a countryside ravaged by war. Their flight will test both Anna’s and Callum’s love, as well as their friendship with Manfred–assuming any of them even survive.
Perhaps not since The English Patient has a novel so deftly captured both the power and poignancy of romance and the terror and tragedy of war. Skillfully portraying the flesh and blood of history, Chris Bohjalian has crafted a rich tapestry that puts a face on one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies–while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt readers for generations.
From the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Skeletons at the Feast
I listened to the audiobook during 6 hour car commutes. I could not turn it off and presume that had I been reading the book, I would have had trouble putting it down. The characters are rich and distinct. The plot is complex and plausible. This story presented not only the points of views of the Jewish victims of the Third Reich, but of the German people who were seduced and coerced by it, and to some extent, of the European allied forces as well. Despite the horrors this story vividly depicts, it ends with fragments of hope sufficient to keep me from being utterly depressed about one of the most abominable eras in history.
Excellent book to make you think
Listened to this book on CD on a long car ride. I found that not only was my mind tricked into thinking the trip was shorter than usual, but I was so caught up in the storyline and the historical facts. It has made me so aware and think of the horrors and atrocities that millions of people endured during WWII. I highly recommend this book!