Reader reviews and comments on Skeletons at the Feast, plus links to write your own review.

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Skeletons at the Feast

by Chris Bohjalian

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
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  • First Published:
    May 2008, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2009, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Vy Armour

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There are currently 16 reader reviews for Skeletons at the Feast
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Gunta

A page turner
This novel is a narrative. A historically well researched tome. A bird's eye view of the last months of WW II as experienced by a German family. It makes one cry, laugh and be proud to be a member of the human race. A trek on foot, across snowy, frozen Germany in the last months of the war. With dangers lurking behind every tree and inside every barn. A tale of heartbreak, loss, love and resilience of the human spirit.
Judy O.

For Me, a Very Special Book!
Much has been said in other reviews about the plot, so I won't go there. This book gripped me in its pages, and occasionally I would be so caught up in the characters' lives that I'd have to put the book down for awhile and think about something else. It was a close look into the lives of the German citizens, who had to cope with a war that they never wanted. At one point in the story German mother, Mutti Emmerich, said, "We have no one to blame but ourselves for the situation we are in." That is small consolation when you are slogging through the freezing countryside for weeks, trying to escape the Soviets. The whole book was just a close look into a time and place in history that I knew very little about.
Zoe

A descriptive heart-wrenching view of World War II
Chris Bohjalian has certainly tackled a myriad of subjects: midwives and the stigma of birth defects in the early 60s, trans-gendered relationships in the present day and even revisiting the Great Gatsby. In his latest novel we are drawn into the end of World War II as Germany is collapsing. As usual, his characters are fascinating, multi-dimensional people we want to know more about. Getting the story from the German perspective as the family flees their homeland we gain an appreciation of what the ordinary German population was living through at the time. The parallel story of the Jewish women having to march through the countryside from the concentration camp gives us an appalling, clear view of the tragedies of war - especially this one. Having also recently read "The True Story of Hansel and Gretel" by Louise Murphy, I find I want to learn more about this devastating period in our history.
Kimberly

Skeletons at the Feast
Skeletons at the Feast is at once graphically disturbing and heart wrenching. Bohjalian excels at bringing forth the exodus from Poland and escape from the Third Reich during the Second World War. Told through the eyes of haunting characters, including a POW, an escaped Jew, and a Polish family who initially thrived under Nazi power, it is impossible not to empathize with each of their experiences and stand in admiration of their spirit and fortitude.
Miriam

Skeletons at the Feast
Once again, Chris Bohjalian has written an extremely absorbing novel which I enjoyed very much. We see the last days of World War II from several different perspectives and look forward to learning how the various story lines will weave together. In this novel, the reader feels for individuals on different sides of the war.

I would definitely recommend it to book clubs as there is much to discuss. Bohjalian is remarkable for intertwining different perspectives and his novels really stay in the reader's mind well after completing them.
Gunta

A page turner
This novel is a narrative. A historically well researched tome. A bird's eye view of the last months of WW II as experienced by a German family. It makes one cry, laugh and be proud to be a member of the human race. A trek on foot, across snowy, frozen Germany in the last months of the war. With dangers lurking behind every tree and inside every barn. A tale of heartbreak, loss, love and resilience of the human spirit.
Mary

Gripping Novel
After I fairly quickly connected with the characters in this emotional and at times utterly heartbreaking book, I was hooked! I found myself both eager to keep reading, yet a few times, knowing what was likely ahead, too afraid to continue without at least a short break. Although fictional, I felt the well-defined characters undoubtedly epitomized the people who actually experienced the horrors of the Holocaust.

When the book was finished, I felt much more educated regarding some of the events of that harrowing time in history and I had a better sense of the geography of that region (although a map would've been helpful).

I know I won't forget this amazing book, and I highly recommend it!
Power Reviewer Lisa

Skeleton at the Feast
As an avid reader of Holocaust themed literature this book was a departure for me. Its central characters are not the victims of the Nazis but victims who are Germans fleeing from the advancing Russian army. Having been in Nuremburg in 2006 I heard for the first time how terribly the German people suffered at the hands of the advancing Russian army. The author did a superb job of describing the disintegration of Germany and the horrors its inhabitants were subjected to through the last few months of the war. A map of Germany would have been useful for a better understanding of the area through which they traveled.
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