Once We Were Brothers

  • by Ronald H. Balson
  • Narrated by Fred Berman
  • 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The gripping tale about two boys, once as close as brothers, who find themselves on opposite sides of the Holocaust.
Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser is convinced he is right and engages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice. Solomon persuades attorney Catherine Lockhart to take his case, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's own family only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has Solomon accused the right man?
Once We Were Brothers is Ronald H. Balson's compelling tale of two boys and a family who struggle to survive in war-torn Poland, and a young love that struggles to endure the unspeakable cruelty of the Holocaust. Two lives, two worlds, and 60 years converge in an explosive race to redemption that makes for a moving and powerful tale of love, survival, and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Loved it!

best narrator I've heard so far! great story. felt like I really knew the characters!!!
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- J. Paul

Almost Perfect

These types of books are my favourite; I always gets sucked into WW2 era stories because I find them so compelling and I found this story even more riveting than many others because of the added legal-thriller-courtroom-drama aspect.

Although I found it was an excellent story, some things did bother me a little:

•In the beginning when Ben wanted to tell his tale to Catherine, the whole “lawyer wants to hurry up / Ben wants to slow things down” thing was very tedious. I felt like it was being drilled into me – it was borderline drinking game. “get to the point Ben” “I’m getting there Catherine” enough!

•Too much interjection of the present punctuated into the recollections of the past. I’ve read many books where the main narrative is told as a recollection, but the interjection of only a sentence or two from the current time line (like a question from Catherine) broke the mood. Explaining to me how Catherine was reacting to Ben’s story or going into detail about how she felt about what she was hearing interrupted the flow and rhythm.

•The romance between Catherine and Liam – why bother? Such an unnecessary thread. That entire thing could have been cut out in my opinion along with ALL of Catherine’s personal-life threads. Pointless.

Despite those complaints, I really enjoyed it overall. Good book!
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- Simone

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-17-2013
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio