Published by Bowker Genres: Historical Fiction, World War II Fiction
Format: Kindle, Paperback
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When We Were Brave by Karla M Jay
In WHEN WE WERE BRAVE, we find a conflicted SS officer, Wilhelm Falk, who risks everything to escape the Wehrmacht and get out the message about the death camps. Izaak is a young Jewish boy whose positive outlook is challenged daily as each new perilous situation comes along. American citizens, Herbert Müller and his family, are sent back to the hellish landscape of Germany because of the DNA coursing through their veins. In the panorama of World War II, these are the high-stakes plots and endearing characters whose braided fates we pray will work out in the end.
When We Were Brave by Karla M Jay is an unforgettable story that will touch, haunt and amaze readers. The author’s rare exemplary writing style, fascinating characters and stunning, original narrative will entertain, move and intrigue all historical fiction lovers.
When We Were Brave by Karla M Jay takes the reader back in time to the horrors of WWII, as seen through the eyes and lives of three main characters and their families. The first is Wilhelm Falk, a reluctant SS Officer who goes to extraordinary lengths to expose the atrocities of the Hitler regime. Desperate to atone for his unwitting part in Hitler’s abominations, he resolves to save as many innocent lives as he can, whatever the cost. Then we have young Izaak, who finds himself torn from a home he loves with his mother to places no child should ever witness, always hopeful and searching for his father, just wanting to be a family again. Finally, we have Herbert Muller and his family, who apart from grandfather Otto are American citizens, who are betrayed by those they trusted and find themselves re- patriated to a hostile and cruel Germany. The lives of these three families are portrayed in a stark and uncompromising way as they face their own battles for survival, and yet the author has skillfully woven the three stories so that the three protagonists’ paths cross in a surprising and yet uncontrived way. Each life is tragic and harrowing, yet they find strength in their loved ones and their ultimate goals. For Izaak and Herbert, it is for a peaceful life; for Wilhelm it is to right a great wrong. The author, Karla M Jay, has written a novel that is heart-breaking, thought-provoking, emotional, and horrific in its clarity. The standard of the writing is stunning, with visual descriptions that immerse the reader in the lives of those portrayed. Gripping from the outset, it is impossible to put this book down, a compelling read that will leave the reader with haunted dreams of all three main characters and their families. There is one word that perfectly describes this book, and that is – exceptional. Not only is it clearly researched which gives the whole book credibility, but the characters are so real and so plausible that they literally step out of the pages and tap you on the shoulder. This author is incredible in the way she has crafted this piece of work, and her note at the end of the novel explaining her inspiration for the characters brought this reader to tears. It is not often that a book has such an impact, but When We Were Brave has everything. Once read, you will not easily forget Wilhelm, Izaak and Herbert. When We Were Brave will touch the heart of the strongest and break the heart of every reader. It will cause you to think of the lives of your ancestors during the Great Wars, have compassion for the oppressed, and appreciate your families and those you love. You will need a box of tissues and a stiff upper lip for this one, but you will never regret reading the story and never forget the inspiring characters.
Artisan Book Reviews is proud to recommend When We Were Brave by Karla M Jay to all readers who long for a great compelling and emotional historical fiction which is written with absolute skill, passion and understanding.
Reviewed by Jane Finch for Artisan Book Reviews.