Sunday, June 29, 2008

Skeletons at the Feast

By Chris Bohjalian

This was my first foray into Bohjalian's novels, and I loved this well-researched historical story. In terms of plot, he presents the stories of various individuals and groups making their way across Germany in the last months of World War II ahead of the Russian military: a family of aristocratic Prussian farmers and the Scottish POW who not only has fallen in love with the daughter but is also their passport to safety via the Allies, a Jew who escaped from a train headed to a concentration camp and now survives by taking the identities of the German soldiers he has killed, and a group of women from a slave-labor camp being marched to a factory farther west. At a deeper level, the book is about the combination of deliberate malfeasance and willful ignorance that led to the rise of the Reich and the Holocaust, about making family, and about survival. Only at the book's end does one find that the stories were all inspired by real people and their experiences during the war. --Inanna

1 comment:

  1. I am reading this book right now. Although I couldn't get into it at first, I persisted and now I can't put it down. It has me thinking a lot about what the world lost in the Holocaust.