I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for gripping and beautiful wartime love story The Fortunate Ones by Catherine Hokin. Thank you to Sarah Hardy and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.
About the book:
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.
About the author:
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 https://www.catherinehokin.com/
or on my Cat Hokin FB page or on twitter @cathokin
The Fortunate Ones by Catherine Hokin is historical fiction at its very best. Set in Germany during World War 2, this is a beautiful and poignant book with a love story at its heart. Beginning in 1941 it tells the story of Felix, a printer’s apprentice, and Inge, the beautiful young woman he falls in love with.
Told from several different perspectives, this is a heartbreaking story of two people facing impossible odds, in a tale of love and war that will move you beyond words, taking you on a devastating wartime journey that will stay with you long after the final page has been turned.
Felix and Inge, or ‘Hannah’ as she is known to him, meet one night in a crowded ballroom. They have an instant connection and Felix soon finds himself completely infatuated by her. But Inge is due to be married to a much older man, a doctor, whose true character she is yet to see, and when Felix tries to find her again, she’s vanished without a trace.
Where has Hannah gone? Was she taken away by the Gestapo? Or is there something even more sinister going on? When Felix, a non-practising Jew, finds himself imprisoned in a concentration camp, all hope of finding the woman he’s fallen in love with appear to be lost. But then one day, after a life threatening injury lands him in the ward of Dr Max Eichel, he spies his lost love in the vice like grip of the sadistic doctor – her husband.
The Fortunate Ones is a gripping and beautiful wartime story that will both horrify and mesmerise you as you race through the pages, taking hold of your heart as you become desperate to see if Felix and Inge will ever find their way back to each other. But as heartbreaking as it is, this is also a story of how resilient the human spirit can be, even when all hope appears to be lost. I was mesmerised by Felix and his love for Inge, but it was Inge whose story moved and inspired me the most. Would she be able to escape the clutches of the sadistic Dr Max Eichel? Or are Felix and Inge destined to be apart forever?
A devastating and poignant read, this is a story that not only portrays the horrors of war, but also shows the power of love in all its guises, leaving you with a feeling of hope as the final pages draw to a close.
Catherine Hokin has written a beautiful, gripping and poignant wartime love story that I would highly recommend.
The Fortunate Ones by Catherine Hokin is available to buy now.
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