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Publisher's Summary

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 18-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a 20-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family's farm as forced labor. And there is a 26-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 20th century's greatest tragedies - while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt listeners for generations.
©2008 Chris Bohjalian (P)2008 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Careful research and an unflinching eye...Bohjalian's well-chosen descriptions capture the anguish of a tragic era and the dehumanizing desolation wrought by war." ( Publisher's Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Hyla Birenbaum on 01-10-17

very enjoyable

I did enjoy this narrator . He was excellent. Very believable story.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Paula on 10-27-13

A View of WWII from a Different Perspective

The first 15 minutes were a tough sell, but then, I became totally engaged by this story.

It is one in which the perspectives of Nazism and the war are told from the perception of German citizens who were both fighting the war and fleeing from it. The story told of Germans who supported the Reich, who questioned the Reich and who fought against the Reich.

It is told from the perspective of a prisoner of war from Scotland, an escaped Jew who survived by adopting the identity of fallen German and Russian soldiers, and from a Jewish woman held in the German work camps.

I found it required careful listening as the author changed voices with little notice and little or no segues.That is not to fault the book, it is just the author's MO.

This is a good story; an abundance of violence and death; a bit of romance; and in the end, a realistic story about the true nature of war -- any war.

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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