The Fortunate Ones by Catherine Hokin

I’m so pleased to be part of the book tour today for this very special book. Thanks to Bookoutoure for the copy of the book and invitation to be part of the tour.

Every day he stood exactly where he was directed. He listened for his number, shouted his answer in the freezing cold. He was ragged and he was starving, but he was alive. He was one of the fortunate ones whom fate had left standing. And he needed to stay that way. For Hannah.

Berlin, 1941. Felix Thalberg, a printer’s apprentice, has the weight of the world on his shoulders. His beloved city is changing under Nazi rule and at home things are no better – Felix’s father hasn’t left the house since he was forced to wear a yellow star, and his mother grows thinner every day.

Then one night, Felix meets a mysterious young woman in a crowded dance hall, and his life is changed forever. Hannah is like a rush of fresh air into his gloomy, stagnant life and Felix finds himself instantly, powerfully infatuated with her. But when he tries to find her again, she’s vanished without a trace.

Was Hannah taken away by the Gestapo and held prisoner… or worse? When Felix himself is imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, his thoughts are only for her safety. And when a life-threatening injury lands him in the ward of Dr Max Eichel – a Nazi medical officer with a sadistic reputation – his love for his lost Hannah sees him through the pain.
Until one day Dr Eichel brings his pretty young wife to tour the camp and Felix’s world is thrown off-kilter. Framed in the hospital window he sees – impossibly – the same girl he met that fateful night… her wrist in the vice-like grip of the deathly calm SS Officer. And it’s clear Hannah recognises him at once – there is no mistaking her expression, she has been dreaming of him too…

A gripping and beautiful wartime love story about two people facing impossible odds – heart-breaking, moving and unforgettable. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, We Were the Lucky Ones and The Alice Network.

My Review:

This is a truly superb and special book.

The style of writing is beautiful, it’s so evocative and lyrical. I could picture the scenes so vividly.

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s harrowing and heartbreaking, but it’s so compelling. It’s all the more shocking that it is, of course, based on history. It’s a bit of a different perspective too, with the timeline going right through to the aftermath of the war.

The characters are so well drawn, I just wanted to will Felix to survive, and really wanted a way for him to be reunited with the woman he loves. A series of twists of fate, and obstacles thrown in their way, however, seem destined to keep them apart. At times it seems impossible for them.

The main female character is wonderful. She’s a strong and intelligent person, in an era and setting where she must repress this, and obey her husband. I can’t say too much about her without giving away too much of the plot, but she’s to be admired. I really liked her.

A stunning and heart-rending novel. One of the best historical fiction books that I’ve read.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Author Bio:
I seem to have followed a rather meandering career, including marketing and teaching and politics (don’t try and join the dots), to get where I have always wanted to be, which is writing historical fiction. I am a story lover as well as a story writer and nothing fascinates me more than a strong female protagonist and a quest. Hopefully those are what you will encounter when you pick up my books.
I am from the North of England but now live very happily in Glasgow with my American husband. Both my children have left home (one to London and one to Berlin) which may explain why I am finally writing. If I’m not at my desk you’ll most probably find me in the cinema, or just follow the sound of very loud music.
I’d love to hear from you and there are lots of ways you can find me, so jump in via my website or on my Cat Hokin FB page or on twitter @cathokin

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