Review: The Luck of the Weissensteiners (The Three Nations Trilogy #1) by: Christoph Fischer

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.

From the moment that Greta Weissensteiner enters the bookstore where Wilhelm Winkelmeier works, and entrances him with her good looks and serious ways, I was hooked. But this is no ordinary romance; in tact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance Christoph Fischer gives his readers to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. Set in the fascinating area of Bratislava, this is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck. I cared about every one of this novel's characters and continued to think about them long after I'd finished reading.
-- Andrea Steiner, University of California Santa Cruz
The Luck of the Weissensteiners is an epic saga set in wartime Eastern Europe. It follows the lives of two families - one Jewish, one Catholic - and their entwined survival amidst the backdrop of the second world war; first the fascist then the communist invasion and occupation of Slovakia, and the horror of the consequences of war. The reader is transported to a world of deception, fear, distrust and betrayal, alongside enduring love and family drama. The characters are vividly painted in the mind of the reader as we follow their journey across Europe at a time of unimaginable challenge and trauma. Weissensteiners is a magnificent tale of human survival. I wish I hadn't read it already so that I may repeat the pleasure of discovering and becoming lost in the story once again.

I received this book to give an honest review.

I am not a big reader of historical books of any sort. But this one really captured me, at first it was a bit of a slow start as I was getting to know the characters but as soon as was hooked I could not put the book down. I felt so many emotions within this book, anger, hope, love. This author has a way with writing and telling you a story that you can not help but be hooked. 

You are following a family and other characters that come into the life of a family. The Weissensteiners are Jewish but they do not claim the faith. When Jonah's daughter Greta Weissensteiner falls in love with a German bookstore worker you think wow these two are going to be a great couple. But as soon as they marry and start a family that is when everything literally goes to hell in a hand basket. You have Hitler and the war against Jews and all that goes against what Hitler stands for, you have Wilhelm Winkelmeier and his mean family that seem to hate Greta because of her race. With this war there is heartache and everyone seems to lose something. For Greta, it is the connection with her family and it broke my heart that she couldn't be with them when she needed to. The way Wilhelm treated Greta I literally wanted to slap Wilhelm I disliked what he did to Greta I found it shady and I resented him for it. Within this story you learn that family and those close to you is what matters most. Now the weaver Jonah and his family have been very lucky thanks to someone who has a way to bribe people to stay off the list of being deported but how far does their luck run? The ending was just awesome, I am so glad it ended the way it did with Greta finally getting her wish. She has been though so much and was very strong through out everything that was thrown her way that she deserved peace, but I would have like for her ex-husband to have told her to her face why he did what he did truly and not some lie or something to make her feel better. 

This author has a way with making you feel what others went through during this rough time and bringing the war right into your heart. If you are looking for a historical book that keeps you hooked and left with emotions then you need to get your hands on this book I totally recommend it. 

Christoph FischerChristoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he is still resident today. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; 'Sebastian' in May 2013; 'The Black Eagle Inn' in October 2013.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.


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