Author: William E. Thomas
Publisher: Acute Angle
Publish Date: March 26, 2012
Source: I received a free copy; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a historical fiction fan.
- You like a good love story.
From Goodreads.com: "Arnhem, 1944. Captain Stanley Adam Malcolm Parker - Sammy to his friends - and his platoon have fought bravely, but it was always a losing battle. The bridge was unwinnable. After he and his men are forced into cattle trucks and transported across Germany on a three day journey without food or water, Sammy lashes out at an SS officer with brutal and devastating consequences...for him and his German opponent.
Instead of spending the rest of his war as a POW, Sammy is sent to a concentration camp.
Spared an immediate death, Sammy discovers firsthand the full horror of the final solution. Amongst the desperation and destitution of the camp, he encounters Naomi, a Jewish housewife from Dresden. Having seen her family murdered, Naomi has learned to survive by making the most unimaginable of sacrifices. She is the woman who Sammy comes to depend on to survive himself.
But when the camp is finally liberated, the couple are separated and Sammy embarks on a journey across a continent devastated by war and wracked by ongoing tensions to find out what happened to the woman he loves."
My Two Cents:
Guys, by now you probably know that I really like WWII fiction. I think it's a fascinating point in time that really changed our world and set into motion some of the things that we still see today (just look at how the UN is set up, it's still very WWII-esque). Automatically, I knew I was going to be very excited for the book.
Now a little background about the coolness of this book in particular. The author, himself, had been working on this book for a long time. He is now 87 and beginning to have difficulties stemming from Alzheimer's disease. His grandson published this book for him. So in more ways than one this story is truly a love story; both in the story itself and how the story is going out to readers.
Now the story itself is pretty good. I especially liked the love story between Sammy and Naomi. I think you really get the sense that throughout the war, all sorts of different people from different walks of life are thrown together to either sink or swim. At first, I had a hard time understanding how quickly Sammy and Naomi fell in love but I think in the situation that they were in, it's easy to see that you would just cling for whatever felt secure. There wasn't time to court and especially with both characters being in Matthausen, a concentration camp, each day was most definitely not assured. Once you take that into account, it becomes easier why they spend so much time searching for each other throughout the book.
I liked that this book covered some of the things that happened during the last part of the war and right after the war.You don't get to see that in a lot of books about WWII but some of the stories that came at the end or during the beginning of reconstruction are very compelling as well. One thing is that it would have been a little bit better to have some more delineation of time. It takes awhile as you go through each chapter to figure out where you are.
Bottom line: A good WWII historical fiction that goes a bit beyond just WWII!