A terrible darkness has fallen upon Jacob Weisz’s beloved Germany. The Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, has surged to power and now hold Germany by the throat. All non-Aryans—especially Jews like Jacob and his family—are treated like dogs.
When tragedy strikes during one terrible night of violence, Jacob flees and joins rebel forces working to undermine the regime. But after a raid goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself in a living nightmare—trapped in a crowded, stinking car on the train to the Auschwitz death camp.
As World War II rages and Hitler begins implementing his “final solution” to systematically and ruthlessly exterminate the Jewish people, Jacob must rely on his wits and a God he’s not sure he believes in to somehow escape from Auschwitz and alert the world to the Nazi’s atrocities before Fascism overtakes all of Europe. The fate of millions hangs in the balance.
Rosenberg is a master storyteller. In this book, he merges real life people with fictional characters to give readers a realistic look at the Holocaust and life in a concentration camp. The amount of courage and cleverness demonstrated by the characters is inspiring and amazing. Any book about life in a camp is at times difficult to read. This one is no different. However, the focus on this book is on how brave people worked together to formulate a plan to escape to warn others.
From start to finish, the plot is perfectly written and perfectly paced. The characters are perfectly described so that readers are able to get a sense of who they are as people. Not a lot of Holocaust novels focus on the lack of response from other nations and the outright refusal of countries to allow refugees to enter, so I really liked that Rosenberg included some of that information. I learned a little bit, which is one of the best things about reading historical fiction.
If you enjoy reading WWII fiction, you will enjoy this book. If you are a fan of Rosenberg, then you will enjoy this book. It is a suspenseful, captivating read.