NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Friday, March 6, 2009

SKELETONS AT THE FEAST

by Chris Bohjalian



"As World War II winds down, a group of people displaced by the conflict begin a journey across devastated Germany in an attempt to reach the Allied forces. During their haunted travels, they struggle to keep their bonds, as well as their lives." (From the CD container)

Skeletons at the Feast shows you the war from the viewpoints of a Scottish POW, an escaped Jewish man masquerading in various personae as he desperately searches for a way to safety so he can tell the world what is happening to his people, a displaced Prussian family in denial about what the Reich is doing, and a Jewish woman on a death march from a concentration camp. It does not shy away from the brutalities committed by any party, and readers not prepared for the ugliness will probably have a tough time. But there is also hope and faith and loyalty, love and kindness, courage and sacrifice of the highest order.

Simply put, if this book doesn't move you in some way, I'm pretty sure you have no heart at all. I challenge just about anyone to get through this with completely dry eyes, without your heart being squeezed in pain, and without swearing to treat your fellow man with dignity, love and respect for the rest of your days, regardless of race, religion or any other differences we may have.



21 comments:

Joy said...

Wow! You were really touched by this book. :) I thought it was very good, but it didn't have the same impact on me. I do know that feeling, though. Still Alice (Genova) was the latest book that profoundly affected me.

Lezlie said...

Joy ~ I think this one hit home mostly due to a recent comment by a family member. At Christmas, this family member said during dinner, "You know, Hitler had some really good ideas." Needless to say, I was stunned into silence, and stories about WWII get me freaked out about that comment all over again.

Lezlie

Joy said...

Oh my goodness, Lezlie!!! I'm sorry.

Lezlie said...

Joy ~ To be fair, I never did ask that person exactly what was meant by that comment, but in light of previous remarks that person has made about minorities, Muslims, immigrants, etc., I wasn't sure I wanted to know. I love this person dearly and I really do need to clear the air on this issue someday, because it has eaten at my heart ever since. All the anger and intolerance the last couple of years is not normal for this person. At least, not that I was ever aware of previously.

Thanks for letting me vent. :-)

L.

Serena said...

sounds like a deep read. thanks for the review.

Lezlie said...

Serena ~ Everyone is different, but it very much was for me. It came along at a time when my subconscious was open to some more subtleties than it may have been otherwise. :-)

Lezlie

bermudaonion said...

I like to read books like this from time to time, but I have to space them out because they leave me with such a heavy feeling. Great review.

Dar said...

This book was highly promoted here in Canada and I've thought of picking it up many times. I probably will too as it does sound like something I'd like to read. Great review Lezlie.

Jo-Jo said...

Great review Lezlie, this sounds like a book that I would enjoy! I haven't read anything by this author yet, but I think I may look into this one.

Lezlie said...

Bermudaonion ~ That's a good way to do it. They can leave quite a black cloud!

Dar ~ Thanks! I would never have picked this up if it weren't for the War Through The Generations Challenge. That's why I love the Challenges so much! :-)

Jo-Jo ~ This was my first Chris Bohjalian book, but it will not be the last. I hope his others are as good!

Lezlie

Lisa said...

I've read a couple books recently that deal with this difficult time period -- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Reader. Both are excellent books. This one sounds really good, as well. Thanks for the great review.

Marg said...

I had this out from the library on audio book but had to return it without even starting it! I might try and pick it up again.

Lezlie said...

Lisa ~ You're welcome! I think the Holocaust makes WWII a particularly hard war to read about. Both of those you've read also look good, you know, in a heartbreaking way.

Marg ~ Oh, you should! The audio was very, very good!

Lezlie

Literary Feline said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I love Chris Bohjalian's writing style and the subject matter is right up my alley. Thanks for the great review, Lezlie!

Lezlie said...

Literary Feline ~ You're welcome! I've been looking at his other books for a potential second helping. :-)

Lezlie

Teddy Rose said...

Wonderful review Lezlie! There have been a lot of recommendations for this book and it is on my TBR.

Lezlie said...

Teddy Rose ~ The book deserves all its praise. I may have to buy it later to add to my permanent collection.

Lezlie

Ladytink_534 said...

I've read a book by Bohjalian before called Water Witches but I wasn't that crazy about it. I remember thinking it was just okay. Glad to know all of his books aren't like that!

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ Hmmmm. Maybe I'll steer clear of that one when I go back for more. I was thinking of Trans-Sister Radio. I think that's what it's called anyway. :-)

Lezlie

Anna said...

Boy, am I behind in posting reviews! I've posted this one here.

This sounds like a book I should read. I'm adding it to my list.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Lezlie said...

Anna ~ I'm surprised you haven't read this one! Oh, you really must. It is sooo good.

Lezlie