Flight of the Shearwater: Book 2 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy,a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.
With Poland divided between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Republics, the increasingly confident Third Reich flexes its military muscles northwards into Denmark and Norway, while the rest of Europe watches anxiously over its shoulders.
General Erich Kästner, in his key role in the Abwehr, is fast becoming aware of the mass expulsion of Jews and other minority groups from Germany and from northern Poland, to the new ghettos of the Generalgouverment area of southern Poland, and has an inkling of what the National Socialists’ have in mind for Europe’s Jews.
As Holland and Belgium fall, and the British are routed at Dunkirk, barely escaping across the channel, the seemingly impregnable France collapses under the Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg, sealing the fate of millions of Jews, now trapped under Hitler’s rule.
The Nussbaums, thwarted in their attempts to escape to Denmark, desperately seek other routes out of Germany but, one by one, they are closed off, and they realise they have left it all too late…
The Flight of The Shearwater is the second book in the Der Sturmtaucher, The Shearwater Trilogy. It follows on from the first novel, The Gathering Storm, so would recommend that they are read in order.
The first book introduces us to two families. The Nussbaums and the Kastners. Both families are German of which the Nussbaums are Jewish. In this book we are further into WW2 and the danger for the Nussbaums has increased. General Kastner can only use his position to a certain extent to help the family that have not only been a huge part of their family’s life with the parents working in their household but are good friends also.
I read this book with a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach that kept growing. Heinrich Gullich and his sidekick, Carl Meyer infuriated me. They are hell bent on proving that Kastner is a lover of Jews and are trying their best to not only destroy Kastner and his family but also eradicate the Nussbaums. This book was so much harder to read due to all of the emotions I was experiencing. The adults and the children we have come to know are both very much separated in this story with the children of both families putting their lives at risk and my heart was in my mouth so many times.
There are so many times I was on tenterhooks as I wondered if these characters were going to survive the constant threat that is always around them. The author brings to live what life was like for Jewish people and the constant fear that they lived in. It reminded me how brave so many of these people were and would risk everything for the safety of their loved ones.
The Flight of The Shearwater is a story that will pull on every emotion. It is a heartbreaking read that was also inspiring. Reading of people putting their lives on the line for what is right was both terrifying and endearing. I love how it brings history back to life and is a reminder of an horrific time that we all should have learned from and to make sure it never happens again. Hands down these books are some of the best books I have read in the genre. They will leave you desperate for the next book as you get enveloped with the plight of the Nussbaums. An absolute must read for readers of historical fiction. Informative, heartbreaking yet truly inspiring!
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