An extraordinary and personal view of the past!
This terrific story was clearly as well researched as it was exquisitely written. Mr. Fischer managed to tell a tale that educates and enlightens while remaining personal and intimate. The reader is gracefully eased into the family’s story and soon grows attached to the characters. Their motivations, drives, and decisions become easily understood. This understanding can lead to profound impact on the reader’s perspective, it did for mine. The book gives the reader an up close and personal look at the social and economic upheaval experienced by Jews and Christians in Eastern Europe leading up to, throughout WWII, and in its aftermath. At times the story was quite upsetting and at others times rather uplifting, and it was always very, very real. It is important that great works such as this one be read. People should not forget the macro-events of history, but it is equally important that they understand on a micro level; the choices that people made, the reasons they made them, the consequences of action and inaction. These are the human commonalities that connect us all through time. They are well explored in this masterpiece of historical fiction.