Book Review by Soulla Christodoulou
I have read James Walker’s trilogy set in the 17th Century and absolutely loved his writing; crime fiction, strong female lead and a whole lot of gutsy investigating despite danger and many challenges. His writing is wonderfully poetic, his prose evocative and so I was looking forward to diving into his newest release, Song of Buchenwald.
I was hesitant in starting this book, simply because of the subject matter.
However there were parts of this book, which though harrowing and unimaginable in terms of the appalling situations and catastrophes the Jews found themselves in, shone a light on hope and the power of friendship and loyalty.
I learnt a lot about Austrian society and even recognised places mentioned from my visit to Vienna. The story unfolds slowly, following the career of the great composer. The life of Hitler is very much in the shadows to begin with.
Once the story picks up momentum there is brutality and all the associated images connected to Auschwitz and other concentration camps. The plight of the Jews is very much a bold part of this story and James does not hold back; his storytelling is evocative and at times deeply upsetting.
However, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of this period and who would like to read a story which has a different focus to that of most books of this era. The friendship between Hitler as a boy, his circumstances and his love for his sister, and Lehar was a testament to love and faith. A passionate read which kept me thinking about the story long after I reached the end.
James Walker is a retired lawyer living near Canterbury, Kent. He is married with two sons and five grandchildren. He has a lifelong love of history. James has German ancestry on both sides of his family and enjoys painting when he is not working on the research or writing his next book.
I hope you will pick up a copy of his book and learn something new about a part of history that we hear so much about yet still have so much to learn.
With much love, Soulla xxx