Fantastic Historical Fiction

The Luck of the Weissensteiners - Christoph Fischer

As an avid history buff, I was excited to read The Luck of the Weissensteiners on the recommendation of a friend. Christoph Fischer delivers a powerful and intense look into the lives of several connected families living in Czechoslovakia before, during, and after WWII. There were several factors that made this novel particularly enjoyable to me. First was the author’s writing style, which presented itself as though it was being told by a great storyteller to its listeners around a fire, much in the same way family stories were passed on from generation to generation in the days before widespread literacy. Fischer wove the stories of each of the story’s characters together seamlessly in such a way that I could truly feel how closely connected their lives became as the narrative progressed. However, what I found most captivating was the beautiful way Fischer told the stories of the people who are never mentioned in a typical Holocaust account. Movies, documentaries, and other novels are quick to share the bold tales of families dragged to concentration camps and soldiers on the front lines. Very rarely have I encountered a story that so poignantly portrays the realities of those people who were simply ordinary citizens attempting to live peacefully in the small rural communities throughout Europe. I found myself wondering how I would have reacted in the characters’ situations as they were forced to live through circumstances that were many times beyond their control. What I would have initially deemed as unforgivable, when perceived from a different perspective, became far more understandable. To initiate this level of self-reflection is a testament to Fischer’s ability as an author. I am looking forward to reading more novels by this author and would highly recommend Luck of the Weisensteiners to anyone who enjoys great historical fiction.