In the waning days of World War II, a small group of people start out for the journey of a lifetime. They start out walking from Eastern Germany/Poland and plan to keep walking until they meet the American/British Troops. The group contains eighteen year-old Anna, a daughter of Prussian aristocrats, her mother and younger brother. Also in the group is a tall, handsome Scottish POW and Manfred, a German Jew who jumped from a train on its way to a ‘camp’ and had been pretending to be an SS member to survive.
As any story of World War II and the holocaust it contains the normal pathos, but also included is the viewpoint of a ‘good German’ coming to grips with what their beloved country has done. All the characters are well-developed and you feel their concern and anguish with them. Once again Chris Bohjalian has written a masterpiece. I am amazed at the varied subjects of his novels.
4 stars (Rated R – for war violence and one short, explicit sex scene)