10 Mar 2013

Five Star Review for Luck of the Weissensteiners

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I approached Elaine for a review on Goodreads where she has made a name for herself as one of the top reviewers. I had forgotten all about it already when yesterday her glowing and detailed 5 star review came in. I have copied and pasted the review to take out some of the story spoilers. fullbook3 Here is the link to Elaine’s blog Here is the full review (with spoilers) And here is the slightly cut review: I’m not usually one for sad stories, or historical fiction. I’m even not really one for family sagas. However, I enjoyed this book. At the beginning of the book I felt sorry for Greta, who is stuck with Wilhelm after he got her pregnant. She’s Jewish and he’s a German, but when they meet, a love of literature brings them together and he assures her that her nationality means nothing to him, even though it would to some others. After getting pregnant, Wilhelm promises to stick by her and they get married…… Normally, I don’t like long breaks in the story, or long history/background lessons during a story, but here it really works. It’s not a lecture or boring, it’s intriguing and captivating. I studied Germany and the war in high school and again in an OU course, Humanities, and never knew most of what Fischer is telling me through this story. I never knew that large factions of Jewish people saw it coming, that the writing was on the wall from as early as 1938. It’s a real eye opener, and it really gives a strong sense of anticipation, foreboding and ‘luck’ to the story. I do love the characters in this book. I love Jonah and although Johanna is a bit of a nightmare and a cow, you do get rare moments of light. When she does something, it’s always for the ‘greater good’ of her family, even if someone gets hurt or she has to feel remorse later. That’s her payment. I also like that you get to see both sides of the argument, and how easily a person who had once had no problem with Jews could have their mind changed. Wilhelm showed this well, and Johanna is constantly battling conflicting feelings against the Jewish people. I know someone, a German, who was conscripted into the army back then, even though he, like Egon and Gunter, had no issues with the Jews, and how, like Gunter, it wasn’t possible to say no without some ill effect. I also like how Egon and Gunter are considered inferior and weak by their families but its their intellect that gains them pride and praise in the army. It’s nice to see them getting some attention and approval after being practically abandoned and neglected by their families. I especially love little Wilma. She’s so fragile and you just want to wrap her up and protect her from life…….I particularly enjoy Edith and Esther, they’re so much fun. I enjoy the characters……… Freddie and even the old German women who are complete cows. They are real and honest and brutal sometimes, but believable. I especially loved Joschka. He was so sweet and lonely. You tend to forget that non Jewish people got caught up in the camps and that, besides hating Jews, the Nazis hated anyone who was different, whether that be religiously, politically, geographically or through sexual orientation. Edith, Esther and Joschka were both in danger for their sexuality, and it’s heartbreaking to hear Joschka’s story. ………a true testament to how people are people, humans are humans and it doesn’t matter about the colour of their skin, their accent, or their religious beliefs. Family are family. Friends are friends no matter what. I really loved the Epilogue….. Needless to say that I cried at the end. I held out hope enough to stop myself until it was over. I find it completely perfect…. and got a conclusion to the story. I really look forward to reading more from this author. Thank you Elaine once more for taking the time for such a in depth review.

written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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