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The Luck of the Weissensteiners (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This fascinating book tells of the interwoven fates of two families. Greta, the daughter of the Jewish (but assimilated) Jonah Weissensteiner marries the gentile Wilhelm Winkelmeier and the couple begins their married life on the farm of Wilhelm’s stern relatives - Johanna and Benedikt. All of the characters are well-portrayed, but I found Johanna to be the most interesting, with her ever-shifting, ambiguous attitude toward the Jews in her life, paralleled by her capacity for both tremendous warmth and terrible coldness.
Though, as some reviewers have noted, the novel often drifts into history lesson mode, I was not bothered by that. Often when reading a historical novel I find myself distracted, wondering what was actually happening at the time, so I was pleased to have Mr. Fischer tell me.
Consider for a moment the beginning sentences of the book synopsis: "In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows their lot through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after."
I was enraptured with Greta and Wilhelm from the very beginning. I fell in love with their characters, the setting, the story and the history. The history of the time is heavy in this novel with very little fictional embellishment but that only made it more delightful of a read for me. I appreciate the care that Fischer took to verify the accuracy of history and the details of the time.Read more ›
Greta Weissensteiner falls in love with the young man who sneaks books from his library and uses them to see her. Wilhelm Winkelmeier does not care she is a Jew and marries her. They live on his parents' farm where Greta is subjected to harsh living conditions and has to forget her love of books to take care of their son, Karl. Slowly, she wins the respect of Wilhelm's parents, but a storm is racing across the horizon in the shape of Nazi hatred of all things Jewish.
Then the unthinkable happens - the world turns a blind eye as Germany invades Austria and then Sudetenland bordering their home country of Czechoslovakia. It is only a matter of time before the terror begins.
The Weissensteiners have always believed in their own brand of luck that has kept them in good stead, but once the Jewish question is implemented that luck is needed time and again. And yet their luck seems to protect them, but at what cost.
This wonderful novel handles a difficult subject matter with style and grace, showing a close-knit family fighting injustice and never losing their dignity in the face of bigotry and hatred.
I must admit I was often brought to tears with several scenes so poignant and tender. This book deserves to be in every library as a reminder of man's inhumanity to man and how easily society can ignore such cruelty.
This FIVE STAR masterpiece should be read by every teenager as part of their school curriculum. I LOVE IT.
The characterisation however does not pay off until a little later into the book when the wheels of politics force them into action and out of their home. The number of people coming in and out of the Weissensteiners life is at times distracting and seemed unnecessary for the plot while at others their presence brought some fascinating perspectives into play after all.
I am not surprised to learn that this is Fischer's first novel. Some stylistic issues should be overcome in his further writing. As story teller, historian and creator he has certainly potential and if you can neglect these minor caveats you will find an intriguing novel and a rather entertaining story that comes together nicely and ends on a high.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THIS BOOK WAS VERY GOOD BUY DEPRESSING..SO MUCH HATRED THEN...KIND OF LIKE TODAY..NEVER ENDINGPublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
The Luck of the Weissentheiners is a wonderful story about one family caught up in the pre, during and post eras of World War II and the rise of Nazism. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Rea
The presentation of the daily struggles and anxieties of Jews in the Prague, Bratislava areas opens eyes and hearts.Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
A little hard to follow. (I think it may have been poorly translated.) I do not usually hear about Slovakia during WWII, so worth the read.Published 1 month ago by Pamela Holt
An excellent story portrayed brilliantly by this author. Heartwarming, well written, highly engaging!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
There are several texts that focus on the plight of Jews leading up to and during WWII, this is the first that examines their problems in a country most of us know little about -... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Francis G. Ronan
Slow Starr and never got going. Had no real interest in the people's lives . Just a so so book.Published 3 months ago by Dennis Abernathy
The story begins in the early 1930's when people still remember WWI and referred to it as "the Great War." The setting is in Bratislava Slovakia. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Pygmy Amazon Reviews
NOT WELL WRITTEN BUT THE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT CHANGING SLAVIC NATIONS BEFORE AND DURING WWII WAS WELL RESERCHED AND INFORMATIVE.Published 3 months ago by Molly