The Luck of the Weissensteiners (The Three Nations Trilogy)
5.0 out of 5 stars The Luck of the Weissensteiners, 29 May 2013
This review is from: The Luck of the Weissensteiners (The Three Nations Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
This is an extraordinarily good read which is both enjoyable and instructive. It captures the predicaments of people who are displaced by war, prejudice and social hostilities with great insight. The characterisation is both finely drawn and entirely believable. The characters’ experiences are set in context: the geographical and historic backgrounds are very carefully researched and accurately described. The background and the story are skillfully intertwined to make the storyline illuminating and compelling. The story is full of interest and the reader identifies readily with the characters in a most enjoyable way. At the same time we are learning about how those times really were, with all their horror but also with hope for the future and heroic actions that inspire. Strongly recommended for anyone who likes their fiction in the historical context.
Sebastian is the second the Three Nations Trilogy; the first book, The Luck of the Weissensteiners, was set in the 1930s and World War 2. Sebastian opens in 1913 and follows him and his family through World War 1 and into the post-war period. Both books have as their themes, identity, nationality and borders. Set as they are in central and eastern Europe, they highlight the instability of life there in the first half ot the 20th century, the rapid shifts and power struggles and the extreme effects on individuals who are facing serious difficulties in holding onto a normal life of any kind. Eastern Europe was truly a melting pot at that time. Fischer has described the background wonderfully well and very accurately but he never becomes tedious.
As with the Weissensteiners, deft characterisation ensures that the reader empathises with each individual family member. The book explores the reactions of the characters to extreme duress and shows how they may err but also how they retain a capacity for helping each other and doing the right thing. The author really appreciates the social pressures of the early 20th century: the adoption of more liberal attitudes since that time can obscure our view of the way life was then, but this book is brilliantly and clearly set in the real social scene of the time.
The storyline starts quite slowly but quickly gathers pace. This makes it a very good read and leaves the reader with a strong sense of the realities of the period.
Comment Comment | Permalink
The most recent reviews 3 years on: