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Jacob's Oath: A Novel by [Fletcher, Martin]
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Jacob's Oath: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Length: 334 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As he did in his first novel, The List, NBC news correspondent and National Jewish Book Award–winner Fletcher explores the experiences of Jews in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust in this engrossing, if unsettling, thriller. Jacob Klein survives the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, but was unable to save his younger brother, Maxie, from death at the hands of an SS guard, Hans Seeler. At a medical facility where Jacob is being treated after his liberation in April 1945, he&'s dumbfounded to see Seeler, who gets away. Sustained by his desire for revenge, Jacob joins a group of Jews who are also seeking Nazis to execute. Their quest alternates with the story of Sarah Kaufman, who survived the war in Berlin (and whose sister was a schoolmate of Jacob&'s sister), but finds that she still must struggle to stay alive after a Russian soldier brutalizes her. The taut prose and multidimensional protagonists help make this a page-turner. Agent: Carol Mann, Carol Mann Agency. (Oct.)

From Booklist

Jacob survives Bergen-Belsen, in part because of his vow to kill the SS guard who beat his younger brother to death. Resisting recruitment to go fight to establish Israel, he returns to Heidelberg, his pre-Nazi home and also the home of his brother’s murderer. In Berlin, Sarah, who has managed to hide from the Nazis for three years, is raped by a Russian soldier when the Russians take the city. She too has vowed to go to Heidelberg, the place where she and her missing lover agreed to meet if they were separated. The only Jews in Heidelberg, Jacob and Sarah meet and fall in love, but Jacob’s vow to avenge his brother threatens to destroy their chance for happiness. Fletcher, formerly NBC News’ Tel Aviv bureau chief and author of The List (2011), has crafted a moving love story, a vivid portrait of a devastated and chaotic Germany immediately after the war’s end, and a remarkably insightful look into the minds of two survivors of the Holocaust. Fletcher’s style is spare and graceful, and it enhances the power of this small gem of a novel. --Thomas Gaughan

Product Details

  • File Size: 907 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; Reprint edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Publication Date: October 8, 2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CDWQF34
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,017 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gunta Krasts Voutyras on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The human spirit is indestructable. This has been shown in our human history over and over again. It ia also so in Martin Fletcher's new novel "Jacob's Oath". This is a diary of various moments in the lives of Jacob and Sarah during WW II and its aftermath. Having lost everything, family, home, all suport systems, totally subjected to the kind of torture we humans are capable of, these two Jews try to survive in an environment that hates them. Jacob is a survivor of Bergen-Beslsen, torture camps for Jews. He witnessed the killing of his little brother. Sarah had lost the love her life, Hoppi, one night in a deserted cemetery she prematurely gives birth to her baby. Baby is born dead. She is alone and terrified as the chance of life coming to an end instantly, either at the hands of the Soviets of the Nazis, is a given. Sarah and Joseph meet by chance while hiding and together attempt to survive meantally and physically. Sarah has many emotional scars. The vivid descriptions of foraging for food, cigarette butts, as well as, safety are vivid. Sarah is helped by and American GI after being brutally raped. The soldier takes her to a hospital. Eventually Sarah and Jacob fall in love. They are not able to move on with their lives until Jacob is able to avenge the murder of his little brother Maxie. The pshychological scars are receding somewhat for the two of them but all is definately not well. There are many moments here in this novel where I had to put the book down and go for a little walk to air out my head. It is an amazing, yet, a very disturbing story. Surely required reading for generations who are interested in WW II and those who are interested in what exactly happened in the distant past. There are not many left who can tell the human history of WW II in the first person.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Martin Fletcher has such a natural voice as a novelist that he effortlessly evokes emotions in the reader while providing profound insights into a crucial and terrible time in European history. When the Second World War ended, the struggle for survival did not cease for millions who had made it that far. Fletcher gives us a chronicle of that time with wit and beautiful writing that offers both a moving love story and a terrific thriller.
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I liked the construction of this novel very much. The story moves along nicely and I really felt as though I was there. The atmosphere of the times is really there; at least it felt that way to me. An important part of WWII books - you need to feel the period and this book has that going for it. Tragic storyline with a silver lining.
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Format: Hardcover
The highest compliment I can give any novel is that whatever I was doing I couldn't wait to stop and get back to it.Absolutely the case here.A really good read that will leave you thrilled to be alive and thankful for what you have.
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The book is fiction, but the author had done a lot of research in Germany in order to make the background to the novel authentic. The book begins in May 1945 after the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allies. Germany is in chaos and many former SS soldiers were returning home. A mixture of US, British and Russian soldiers are in Germany ensuring order. In this chaotic situation are many refugees, including Jews, who were liberated from Bergen-Belsen and other concentration camps.

Jacob Klein, a Jewish survivor of Bergen-Belsen, was discharged from hospital after undergoing treatment and was making his way to Heidelberg, his home town, in the hope of finding his home. He was also determined to find "The Rat" an SS Guard who had murdered his younger brother, Maxi. He was witness to the murder. He made an oath that he would kill The Rat as revenge for his brother's murder.
The book relates his experiences in detail of his quest, including a love affair with Sarah Kaufmann, who had also been through hell escaping the Nazis. He met her in Heidelberg to which she had also returned. The Rat was also from Heidelberg. Both main characters went through hell during the Nazi occupation and survived their ordeal. They were the only Jews in Heidelberg at that time. Sarah spent three years hiding from the Nazis and was eventually raped by a Russian soldier.

The book has everything in it to make it an engrossing and thrilling read. The love relationship between Jacob and Sarah is very dramatic. Both characters were scarred from the nightmare of their experiences. Jacob is determined to take revenge, while Sarah felt that he must try and put his vengeful feelings behind him and get on with their future together.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was enraptured by JACOB'S OATH from the first page to the last. It takes place at the very ending of World War II in Germany and the few months which follow. Jacob who is in his mid-twenties has nearly died many times in his concentration camp; he watches a sadistic camp guard kill his beloved younger brother and vows to find the man and kill him, setting out when liberated on the crowded roads towards Heidelberg. What a fascinating portrait of the rubble of a world, and the straggling people making their way towards their old homes! Sarah, also Jewish, has somehow come through the war in Berlin without incarceration, only to be brutally raped by a Russian soldier. She also sets out to Heidelberg against all hope to find her sweetheart who likely died in the camps. The two battered young people find each other and begin to make a life together, but Jacob is torn between his blossoming new love and his promise to avenge his brother, which will possibly end in his own death. In addition he is a man of peace and not a killer. The characters are faced with impossible choices and we never know which ones they will make until the last pages. I was moved to tears. Highly recommended!
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