If you want a really engaging picture of Europe breaking apart at the turn of the Century, you could read a dry history book but you could read Christopher Fischerâ€™s lovely tale, which is just shy of an epic. If you love people, I would recommend the latter choice because Fischer understands the subtle tapestry of family relationships like few other writers.I wondered how the story of the hapless Margit would end and was delighted by the weird conclusion, which oh-so-subtly mirrors the loose-end aspects of war.I havenâ€™t read the first book in this series but I didnâ€™t need to; this book is very complete in itself. I have lent it to others, who were itching to have a go.
I thoroughly recommend this book, whether you are interested in the demise of the Habsburgs or just want a darned good yarn about people.
Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)
Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.
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