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The story centers on Julia, who is recently divorced and decides to visit her friends (Denis and Maggie) in Germany for the summer. While there, she and Maggie visit a historical area which includes what was once a concentration camp. Julia is drawn to a cottage off the main area of the camp. Once she enters, she feels as though she is being strangled and runs out of the building in fear for her life.
After Maggie helps her regain her composure, they go to the medical office where Maggie and her husband, Denis are employed as physicians. This is where Julia meets Dr. Theo Seiler and is quickly attracted to the handsome, single doctor.
With encouragement from Theo and a reference to another doctor who performs hypnosis, Julia decides to delve further into her belief that she was murdered in a past life at the concentration camp. Under hypnosis, she finds out much more than she could have imagined of the life of the girl who was murdered in the camp.
"Fleischerhaus" is indeed a suspenseful, intriguing, well-crafted story of a past life experience and a summer romance. One that will surely keep you interested from the very beginning to the very end.
Julia Martin, recovering from a marriage gone sour, travels to Bavaria to stay with Maggie, an old college friend. While she and Maggie are bicycling in the countryside one day, they chance upon a site that was once the location of a German concentration camp. Maggie feels a sense of disorientation there -- and the feeling gets even more pronounced when the two women tour the site. To top it off, Julia knows the locations of buildings in the camp that historians are only guessing at. It's almost as if she has been there before.
A concerned Maggie takes Julia to the local clinic, where Julia meets Dr. Theo Seiler. Theo speculates that Julia might indeed have lived -- and died -- at Fleischerhaus in a previous life, and together they embark on a search for answers.
Bowersock's usual smooth style is in evidence here. Julia and Theo are wonderful characters, and their blossoming romance is charmingly portrayed. The author does as deft a job with the horrific scenes where Julia recalls what happened to her earlier self at Fleischerhaus, as well as the inevitable end game in which Julia puts more than just her own ghost to rest.
Originally published at Rursday Reads.
Julia Martin decides a long holiday in Europe, visiting her best friends in Germany, will be just the ticket to help her get over her divorce after her cheating husband's infidelity. The Bavarian chocolate-box countryside is just what she needs. One afternoon, when out cycling with her friend, they come across a concentration camp. Insignificant in terms of notoriety, but just as significant in terms of the well-known atrocities that took place in such camps. A tour round the museum-converted camp turns out to be a shocking experience for Julia. Horrifyingly, she realises that, in a past life, she was murdered there as a young girl. With the help of her good friends and a very handsome doctor, she tries to unravel the mystery of who murdered her. As the facts slowly reveal themselves, the truth is quite shocking.
I don't believe in the concept that we all have a past-life. As far as I'm concerned, we're the product of an egg and a sperm, end of. This didn't make a scrap of difference to my enjoyment of this book, however. It's a story well told with a balanced mix of elements: the developing relationship between Julia and Theo, the doctor, was tender and endearing and provided a mellow contrast to the horrors of the Holocaust. There are also some surprises: in Julia's love life and in the outcome of the research into the events of her past life.
There's passion and emotion in Melissa's writing. You can feel it both in the romantic part of the book and in the portrayal of events in a war which will never be forgotten. Talent, indeed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.