The Luck of the Weissensteiners
(A Three Nation Trilogy)
This is a `Tale of Two Families' living their lives in the era up to and during World War 2. Life is simple but always a struggle--and it is about to grow worse. No one really sees the evil heading their way, in fact most people are in denial as the Plague of Anti-Semitism creeps across Europe like a deadly fog, overtaking country after country, leaving only death and devastation in its wake. The hatred infects everyone, turns friend against friend, family against family, husband against wife. Even entire Governments corrupt and will do anything to save themselves. Mr. Fischer has created a brilliant historical novel that is still too close for comfort and some of us may find difficult to read. The Weissensteiners are a Jewish family of weavers. They are masters of their craft and create exquisite tapestries that hang on the walls of the Nobles' castles and the home of one Countess in particular. Greta is one of two daughters and a son that make up Jonah Weissensteiner's family. When she meets her prince, Wilhelm Winkelemeier, a clerk in the local book store, Greta is swept off her feet and soon becomes pregnant. Eventually they marry, not knowing how this event will radically affect both of their families. Wilhelm is the first to bail out. Encouraged by his mother he takes their first born blond Aryan-looking son to cousins in Berlin, leaving a pregnant and trusting Greta with his family. Wilhelm's family,the Winkelemeiers, are farmers and as the Czechoslovakian government falls to the Nazis they see nothing wrong with expanding their holdings with confiscated Jewish neighbors' land. This all sets the stage for the greed, cruelty, persecution of not only the Jews, but Gypsies, homosexuals, and even the mentally ill. Mr. Fischer includes everyone in his tale of terror about man's inhumanity to man. But the pain and humiliation does not stop after the war. Families and friends are separated and moved around Europe like so much chattel. Even though I knew the characters are not real but drawn in Mr. Fischer's fertile imagination I found myself crying with these people in their misery, and then admiring them for their commitment to life, to their children, their families and friends. I could not stop reading this book, I wanted to know the next move of every character, especially Greta, and I highly recommend it to everyone. As a child I was raised in England. We had lots of air raids and rationing and discomfort but compared to what the European Jews and all the Displaced Persons suffered in those years, we were living in luxury. In my mind, dying once was not enough for those evil men who perpetrated these crimes against the minds, bodies, and souls of an entire race of Jewish men, women and children.
Mary Firmin, author Deadly Pleasures.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
I have just finished reading and reviewing Schreiber's Secrets by Roger Radford. I found it Compelling, Intriguing, and Mindblowing. The story begins in WW2 and moves effortlessly to Modern Day London and back. If you like thrillers that carry an important message this is the one for you. Mary.
Roger Radford is a brilliant writer who has given us a front row seat to the atrocities the Nazis committed in World War 2. His vivid and graphic description of the actions of one man in one camp at Theresienstadt, near Prague, is an appalling indictment of man's inhumanity. The actions of SS officer Hans Schreiber are intolerable beyond imagining.
The prologue, set in Theresienstadt, switches to a horrific murder in London of the mid-nineties. The police are baffled by the mutilation of the body. When it is followed by yet another crime, equally brutal and with many similarities, they think they might have a serial killer on their hands. A young crime reporter, Mark Edwards, takes an interest in the case and begins to delve into the details. Meanwhile, Danielle Green, a magazine journalist, interviews a certain Henry Sonntag, ostensibly one of the inmates of Theresienstadt, who has come forward to tell his story. Mark and the beautiful Danielle's paths cross, and despite their religious and cultural disparities, they begin a romantic relationship. But will their love be enough to survive these differences, and the case that comes to dominate their lives?
Where this dynamic plot takes you next is beyond praise, and rates it a mystery/thriller of the highest caliber! Mark goes back to Germany, the land of his ancestors, to research the family roots of Hans Schreiber. He seeks to solve the conundrum set by two men, defendant and accuser, fighting it out in London's Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey. Mark finally uncovers the identity of the serial killer and reveals Hans Schreiber's stunning secret. As he uncovers the truth, we get a snapshot of today's Germany and how the Germans have survived in the aftermath of such a grotesque history.
When you are finished with this thriller, you may have more questions than answers. But you will see with a clear eye the pack mentality of a people with the same mindset, and no moral compass. You will learn what happens when the world turns its eyes away from atrocities. This unforgettable book works on so many levels that no praise is too high. I would give it ten stars if I could.
Mary Firmin, author Deadly Pleasures.
Monday, July 8, 2013
I would highly recommend this book, especially if you are a Spiritual Seeker.
Pieces of You
By Joyce Elferdink
This is a compelling story and not to be taken lightly. The author has done an incredible job of posing the Eternal Questions about Life, Death, and the Afterlife. The writing is skilled and her manipulation of time quite remarkable. If you are interested in some of the answers to Life’s Big Questions, you will love this book.
Janine and Mark have only just met online, and barely had time to let their budding romance blossom, when Mark is suddenly taken ill. He is suffering from kidney failure and is paralyzed and unable to communicate. This comes as a complete shock to Janine but she is determined to remain loyal and support him in any way she can.
In his coma state, Mark is taken on a Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol kind of journey. Led by a friendly ghost named Zachri, Mark is taken through his PAST, through all the horrors of the Vietnam War, the deaths of his buddies, and the regrets he harbors even today. He is then taken through Social Horrors of the PRESENT, and eventually shown how his tenuous yet growing feelings for Janine will feature in his FUTURE. The author aims to capture a whole array of truths and I admire her dedication to this task. This is a complex and heartfelt book and will require you to answer many questions about your own Truth. Finally, Mark gets a sweet snapshot of the Afterlife and is asked to decide between Heaven and Janine. What would you do?
Mary Firmin, Deadly Pleasures.
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