Sunday, November 29, 2009

Night of Flames by Douglas W,. Jacobson

Title: Night of Flames

Author: Douglas W. Jacobson

Published: October 1, 2008

Page Count: 384

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Rating: 5/5

In 1939 the Germans invade Poland, setting off a rising storm of violence and destruction. For Anna and Jan Kopernik the loss is unimaginable. Anna’s father is deported to a death camp, and Anna must flee to Belgium where she joins the Resistance. Meanwhile, Jan escapes with the battered remnants of the Polish army to Britain. When British intelligence asks him to return to Poland in an undercover mission to contact the Resistance, he seizes the chance to search for his missing wife.

Night of Flames is an excellent book that kept me enthralled from the very beginning. The book is rich with historical details while still focusing on the characters and their relationships with each other, the historical details of the annihilation of the Jews and the resistance efforts( from local to national) to rid their country of the Nazis.

In addition, the reader gets a perspective of what happened in Poland and with its people with the Nazi invasion. Poland is a country that has been conquered and reconquered over the centuries and this is just one more time that the Polish people lose their identity to a conquering country. What was unique here. though, is that the people had a scapegoat to blame it all on, the Jewish population. I knew that the initial actions of the Nazi's were often met with little if any resistance at the beginning of World War II. However in Night of Flames, you get a real feeling of the chaos, lack of understanding and belief in their own vulnerability, and eventual personal devastation that occurred within families.

There are many subplots within the main story and each subplot has its own set of characters. Jacobson's control of the plot lines made is easy to follow along with the story. It is a complex storyline but it never drags. Jacobson keeps the reader engaged with the story and always eager to keep moving along in the book.

Night of Flames is excellent historical fiction. It pulled me in from the beginning, and I found myself completely immersed in the historically accurate action from page one– not to mention the incredible set of characters! I would highly recommend Night of Flames to any reader who loves historical fiction especially regarding World War II.

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