06 Feb 2014

“The Luck of the Weissensteiners” reviewed at THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY

1 Comment Book Reviews, News

A great honour in my eyes: The Historical Novel Society has accepted and reviewed THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS – Here is what they thought:



It is 1933. In the Slovak capital of Bratislava, Greta Weissensteiner is wooed and made pregnant by Wilhelm Winkelmeir. He is German and she is not. She is Jewish and he is not. Nevertheless they marry and so begins a story of Jews and Gentiles, Germans and non-Germans set amongst the upheavals of central Europe in the years up to, and through, World War Two. The relationships between Greta and Wilhelm, between the Weissensteiners and Winkelmeirs, change as the world about them changes. Their lives and deaths mirror those of millions who went through the tumultuous events of the times.

weissenstreiner 3


In The Luck of The Weissensteiners, Christoph Fischer paints a convincing picture. There is a great deal of social, economic, cultural, religious and political information; perhaps too much, but the story certainly doesn’t lack detail. Characters are plentiful and well-drawn, allowing for many issues and attitudes to be explored. In this regard, the story reminded me of Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Vasili Grossman’s Life and Fate: extraordinary times seen through the eyes of ordinary people. But as with Tolstoy and Grossman, it would have been helpful had Christoph Fischer given us fewer names to learn and fewer relationships to remember. A list of characters would help. Fischer’s writing style too reminds me of books written long ago, or of translations from a foreign language. Perhaps this was intended to help convey a sense of time and place, but sometimes it felt stilted. Nevertheless, this is a book worth picking up. It’s not one that will keep you up all night until you get to the end; read it in instalments, digest it in bites. It’s not a bad thing in these days of instant gratification to chew slowly; the story has an interesting flavour and texture. halmos_béla_051


Here some more of the recent reviews – now a staggering 129 in total and still 4.7 stars on average:

What a Read !, February 2, 2014
I was fascinated by this book from the very first page and could not put it down. It gave such a breath-taking insight to a part of the European Involvement in World War II. This part people tend to know very little about. I had always wondered what did happen at the Sudeten Land, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland, before and during the war.
I am really glad I read this book. It does give you a good idea what life was like for people of the Jewish faith, or for people who just did not ‘fit’ in. It was greatly researched and had wonderful characterisation of the people in the story.
Thank you Christoph Fischer. There was a gap in my understanding which has now been filled. I will definitely read your other books and I can highly recommend this book.
nicely done!, February 5, 2014
weissensteiners 2
The amount of research that had to have gone into this book is staggering. Despite the fact that it is a portrayal a fictional family in WW2 set in the lesser covered Slovakia, it clearly has tons of factual aspects to it. I really felt for Greta and the rest if her family and enjoyed almost everything about this book, the struggles, hope, fears, hate, and kindness all mixed together to describe what life was like and how it effected those that lived through it. One character sticks out as inconsistent though and is the reason why I only rated this book 4 stars: Johanna. She was hot, she was cold…she was friendly, hostile, accommodating, intractable, feeling and unfeeling. It seemed to me she was whatever she needed to be to suit the story and that drove me nuts. I started to dislike even seeing her name on the page. However, she is only one character in this whole story, and the story over all was brilliant and brought tears to my eyes at the end. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
The Luck Of The weissensteiners, January 27, 2014  May 1945 012
The Luck Of The weissensteiners is an intriguing look at Jewish persecution in Czechoslovakia during World War Two. It begins like a historical romance between Greta and Wilhelm but soon turns into a story of subterfuge and survival. Well researched and beautifully written, I found myself completely immersed into the story. Absorbing and insightful, historical drama at it’s best.
The story of a Jewish family in Europe before and during WWII., January 21, 2014
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The characters in this story seem mostly contrived and painted to suit the author’s purposes. The latter appeared to be:

1. convincing readers that Jewish people were not really interested in their history and background
2. subtly downgrading Christians and their beliefs
3. promoting homosexuality.

The historical parts were interesting.

The Luck of the Weissensteiners (Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)

In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.

On Amazon:  http://bookshow.me/B00AFQC4QC

On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8

On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/OtmyZh4Dmc/?autoplay=1

B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-luck-of-the-weissensteiners-christoph-fischer/1113932211?ean=9781481130332

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.

One Response to ““The Luck of the Weissensteiners” reviewed at THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY”

  1. Review of The Shepherd by T.W. Luedke (Paranormal YA) | ASMSG Emagazines Scifi/Fantasy/Paranormal says:

    […] Comments:  0 (Zero), Be the first to leave a reply! You might be interested in this:    NEW RELEASE: “A Menu of Death” by Lucy Pireel  Magazine Article and Blog Interview with Writer Christoph Fischer  Curran Geist – The Sity  Best of 2013 – Top Posts and Books on my Blog  “September Ends” by Hunter S. Jones […]


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