August 3, 2009

Night of Flames by Douglas W. Jacobson

The nice folks at Library Thing helped me get an advance reading copy of this fine World War II historical fiction: Night of Flames: A Novel of World War II. This is a plot-driven tale, not a character-driven one, so if you are longing for carefully crafted and embellished characters this is not your book. But, if you enjoy taking your dose of history nicely wrapped in a story, this is an excellent choice.

Jacobson's tale follows a husband and wife through Germany's occupation of Poland. The husband is an officer in the Polish cavalry; the wife gets drawn into the Polish resistance. The readers get an intimate view of the lives of ordinary people forced into extraordinary situations.

It is well-researched and detailed, without becoming tiresomely weighted down with historical facts and figures. The pace is brisk -- it was hard to put down -- and the ending was very satisfying (if not a wee bit predictable).

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