Monday 15 November 2021

Flight of the Shearwater (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy Book 2) - Alan Jones

Flight of the Shearwater: Book 2 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy, a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

With Poland divided between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Republics, the increasingly confident Third Reich flexes its military muscles northwards into Denmark and Norway, while the rest of Europe watches anxiously over its shoulders.

General Erich Kästner, in his key role in the Abwehr, is fast becoming aware of the mass expulsion of Jews and other minority groups from Germany and from northern Poland, to the new ghettos of the Generalgouverment area of southern Poland, and has an inkling of what the National Socialists' have in mind for Europe's Jews.

As Holland and Belgium fall, and the British are routed at Dunkirk, barely escaping across the channel, the seemingly impregnable France collapses under the Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg, sealing the fate of millions of Jews, now trapped under Hitler's rule.

The Nussbaums, thwarted in their attempts to escape to Denmark, desperately seek other routes out of Germany but, one by one, they are closed off, and they realise they have left it all too late...

What did I think?

Oh my goodness, words failed me when I turned the final page of this wonderful book; no review I write will do it justice as it is SIMPLY STUNNING!  Alan Jones may very well have written the finest historical trilogy of all time and it's not to be missed, so I'm just going to add the buy link for the series right here: BUY IT HERE!!  If you're still with me, I'll tell you what I thought.

Listed as 800 pages in length, it takes about 18 hours to read this second instalment in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy but it's well worth the time investment.  Although you could jump into the series at book 2, I would recommend reading the series in order to understand the background of the characters.  Wartime Germany and the persecution of the Jews is a difficult subject to read about and on more than one occasion I had tears in my eyes.  The characters are brought to life so vividly that I walked every step with them and I was completely invested in their wellbeing.

The Nussbaum family has tried to stay together throughout the war, despite the increasing threat to Jews in Germany.  When it becomes clear that they aren't all going to get out of Germany as a family, Yosef and Miriam make a heartbreaking decision to try to save their children, Ruth and Manny.  With the help of General Erich Kästner, the Nussbaum's employer and friend, the children must embark on a perilous journey to reach safety.

Heartbreaking, harrowing and completely compelling, Flight of the Shearwater is an exceptional piece of historical fiction.  Five stars is simply not enough and I can't wait for the final book in the trilogy to continue reading this outstanding story.

I received a digital ARC from the author to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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