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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 eighteen-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family’s farm as forced labor. And there is a twenty-six-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 twentieth century’s greatest tragedies–while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt readers for generations.


From the Hardcover edition.
Published: Crown Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on May 6, 2008
ISBN: 9780307449559
List price: $11.99
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The trek forced on this Prussian family at the end of World War II provides a vivid look at Germany in 1945 as the public (and some soldiers) flees the Russians. The book is well researched historically and still manages to weave a love story into the misery of the end of the Reich. The plot moves rapidly and doesn't bog down despite in depth looks into the character's personalities.The horrible crimes done by the Nazis are woven into the story in an unlikely and realistic way. Those who like life stories in World War II historical fiction will enjoy this novelread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Skeletons at the Feast is a well-written story about people with different backgrounds in the final months of WWII. It shows, in a very elegant way, the different sides in this war, and how almost everyone suffered from it. However, the book never gripped me as I hoped it would, probably beacuse the characters are a bit flat. All in all, I would recommend this book, but it will not blow your mind away.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
War is typically always full of atrosities, and arguably none more so than World War II. In this breathtakingly poignant historical fiction novel, the reader experiences the end of the war through the eyes of a German family displaced by the encroaching Russian army. Among the refugees are a mother, her eighteen year old daughter, Anna, her ten year old son Theo, and Anna's lover who also happens to be a Scottish POW. Along the way they befirend a German soldier who is actually a runaway Jew in hiding.This is a beautifully written and compelling view of life at the end of the war as seen through several different perspectives. Despite the fact this that this is not typically my favorite genre', I was immediately drawn in and felt each horrible blow as if I were part of the story. I plan to read more of Mr. Bohjalian's work in the hopes it is all this good.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

The trek forced on this Prussian family at the end of World War II provides a vivid look at Germany in 1945 as the public (and some soldiers) flees the Russians. The book is well researched historically and still manages to weave a love story into the misery of the end of the Reich. The plot moves rapidly and doesn't bog down despite in depth looks into the character's personalities.The horrible crimes done by the Nazis are woven into the story in an unlikely and realistic way. Those who like life stories in World War II historical fiction will enjoy this novel
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Skeletons at the Feast is a well-written story about people with different backgrounds in the final months of WWII. It shows, in a very elegant way, the different sides in this war, and how almost everyone suffered from it. However, the book never gripped me as I hoped it would, probably beacuse the characters are a bit flat. All in all, I would recommend this book, but it will not blow your mind away.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
War is typically always full of atrosities, and arguably none more so than World War II. In this breathtakingly poignant historical fiction novel, the reader experiences the end of the war through the eyes of a German family displaced by the encroaching Russian army. Among the refugees are a mother, her eighteen year old daughter, Anna, her ten year old son Theo, and Anna's lover who also happens to be a Scottish POW. Along the way they befirend a German soldier who is actually a runaway Jew in hiding.This is a beautifully written and compelling view of life at the end of the war as seen through several different perspectives. Despite the fact this that this is not typically my favorite genre', I was immediately drawn in and felt each horrible blow as if I were part of the story. I plan to read more of Mr. Bohjalian's work in the hopes it is all this good.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In a departure from his normal modern-day New England-based novels, Bohhalian gives us a novel that examines the lives of several people in Nazi Germany as the Third Reich falls apart. Anna, her well-to-do German family, and her lover (a Scottish prisoner of war) flee their farm to escape the threat of the Russion Army. A group of Jewish women are marched away from their camp to, first, work in a factory and then to just march. A Jewish man, mascarading as a German solidier, helps his people by killing German soldiers as the opportunity arises. Each of these characters cannot understand how they came to be where they are or why they are so hated.Somewhat reminescent of Irène Némirovsky's "SUITE FRANÇAISE" as it examines the confusion and terror of the victims of war as they evacuate their beloved homes and the bewilderment of individuals who did not cause the war as they come to realize that they are hated for that which is beyond their control, and that an entire class of people should not be judged on the actions of the few. Bohjalian gets this point across without at all minimizing the tragedy of the Holocaust.
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It was interesting to read a book about WWII that shows how it affected so many different people. Most books I've read about WWII usually focus only on the Jews and the Nazis (Germans), but Chris Bohjalian did very well on writing this novel. The characters of the story included a wealthy Prussian family who has left their home because they were mistaken when they believed that the war would never affect them, a Scottish POW, a Jew who was fortunate to escaped from a train on the way to the concentration camp, and two Jewish women who lived, worked, and tortured in a concentration camp. The different views and backgrounds of each character in the story gives the reader a better and well rounded perspective of the war.
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I really like Chris Bohalian's novels. He cannot be classified into a genre & he writes about a wide range of subjects. This book, inspired by the wartime diaries of the grandmother of a friend, chronicles an aristocratic German family fleeing from the advancing Russian army in the declining days of World War II. The group consists of the mother, her young son, Theo and her beautiful 19-year-old daughter Anna. The father and the two older sons remain behind to fight in a desperate rear guard action to try & stop the Russian advance. Accompanying the women is a strapping Scot who is a POW who has been working the family farm and a German Jew who is masquerading as a German soldier.The book vividly illustrates the chaos that occurred as the German Reich collapsed as well as the denial of some of her citizens in the face of defeat. The main character, 19 year-old Anna, slowly comes to realize the full extent of the horrors that her country has inflicted on not only the Jews, but also on the people they conquered. Her growth as a person, along with the tale of the family's flight from the Russians, makes this book a compelling read.
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