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Jacob's Oath

By Martin Fletcher

Jacob's Oath
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2013,
    336 pages.

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Susan B. (Lowell, MA) (09/05/13)

Jacob's Oath
Why would a refugee who is dirty, hungry, homeless, destitute, and shoeless want to return to his birthplace? After the camps, how do you rebuild toward a hopeful future without the painful and brutal memories of the assault and horror of your losses? This book is about the courageous survivors of the camps and their daily emotional roller coaster of memories that influence hope and planning for a future in Heidelberg, Germany. The conflicts escalate to a climax in a very engaging way. The characters, Sara and Jacob the villain, Hans, and others were very believable and hard to forget. The German Holocaust was horrific and those who returned to Germany had both logical and emotional reasons for making the trek. This novel is about their journey during the war, their decision to return to home, and the aftereffects of the horrors. The descriptions were so vivid a reader could feel the cold, the pain of the fall, and the sickness from fever and bacteria. The bullying of Maxi, Jacob's brother and his subsequent death by "THE RAT" became reoccurring nightmares for Jacob as he dealt with his demons. The losses that this couple experienced were significant and became hard for the reader to assimilate without a great deal of empathy and sympathy. I felt I knew the moral fabric and soul of this couple. Lieutenant Isak Brodsky became a savior and the hopeful eye toward life and future happiness. His fortuitous help and empathy at critical times in the novel's plot became necessary to the reader's need to know that things would only get better for this couple that we come to know so well. This new novel is a different take on the story of the holocaust because this was about the demons that accompany the psychological state as the protagonists attempt to rebuild a future without predictability while paying homage to a past that is horribly traumatic.
Laurie B. (Jacksonville, FL) (09/04/13)

wanted to like it more
This book mostly held my interest and was reasonably well written. The plight of concentration camp victims during WWII and Jews in Germany is a worthy subject--we should never forget. That said, the plot felt a little contrived to me and just a little "soap opera-ish". I think there are better novels on the subject
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