Don’t expect an easy read.
What you will get is a brilliant, well- written novel on such a contraversial subject that still triggers many.
502 pages that will have you glued to the book.
Klara Bergmann, a Jewish woman and former journalist, witnesses her grandfather’s cold-blooded murder by the hands of a Nazi soldier. This loss marks the beginning of an odyssey that – with the help of the Klein family – will force her to travel through Germany and find shelter in Warsaw, but her peace is short-lived: as the shadow of Nazism looms heavy over Europe, Klara soon finds out that no place is safe. Alone and once again forced to escape across a war-torn world, will she be able to find safety?
Johannes Neumann is a high-ranked SS soldier whose ruthless ambition has brought him to a close friendship with Himmler and Adolf Hitler himself, to the point of becoming Dachau’s concentration camp only real leader – cold and ironclad as his own faith in the Third Reich. And yet, bearing witness to the destruction of Warsaw and receiving shocking news about his past puts his whole world to the test, forcing him to ask himself the question that, sooner or later, haunts every one of us: who am I?
In the middle of World War II, their paths will move towards one another time and time again without never really crossing until a conclusion in which everything loses significance and living is the only option.
QUOTE FROM AMAZON REVIEW
“It’s a fascinating read that draws you straight into the setting along with the characters. I enjoyed Klara, one of the main characters in the story, and was amazed at her ability to overcome debilitating fear and stand up to monsters. I could also understand her frustration in being forced to hide while the men fight and I believe her principle in defending the innocent againt the sick Nazis was what drove her to become as bold as a lion. Neumann, the other main character, is as brutal as it gets when it comes to villains. Without spoiling anything, he learns of a life changing secret that turns the story into a whole new yet exciting direction.”
Klara hated being a woman. More than that, she hated that they didn’t let her take part in the battle because she
was a woman. They wanted to protect them, and she could even understand if that was just for mothers or
pregnant women, but her? And what about all the teenage girls who wanted to fight and help?
“They should let us out.” She said, staring at the ceiling with open eyes. “Leaving us here was a mistake.”
“They’re just protecting us.” Said one of the many people there.
“No, she’s right.” Replied another one. “But go tell Mordechai.”
“They’re just protecting us.” Said one of the younger girls there.
“Yes, but who’s protecting them?” Klara asked, shaking her head. “Can’t you see this makes no sense?”
“I agree with Klara. We should be able to go out there and face the Nazis together as a community. A true
resistance can’t involve just half of us.”
“And would you die and leave your daughter alone?” An old woman asked her, but Lucja clenched her jaw.
That answer bothered her.
“If our men lose, we’re all going to die anyway. Daughters included.”
Klara nodded. “No doubt.”
“But they’re men. War is for men. They’re stronger.”
“Wrong.” Klara looked at the woman next to her. They were about the same age. “They’re weak and hungry.
They’re thin, malnourished, just like us… even worse than us, sometimes.”
“What if they hope the German soldiers spare us if we don’t take part?”
Klara laughed, openly making fun of that idea. “I lived in Germany. I come from Munich. They broke into
our homes, and they didn’t spare any woman there, nor did they show mercy for kids.” She explained, her voice
harsh. “When they deport us, they don’t deport just men. They take everyone. What are you talking about?”
“Klara is right.” Johanna said, sitting up and looking around. “And it’s even worse for us: we can make
children, and they knew that every human being that comes out of our bodies will forever be an enemy of the
Reich. Saving the women would be the last thing I would do if I was them.”
A long silence followed.
“What do we do, then?”
“Nothing.” Klara replied to their surprise. “They locked us here, and we have no weapons. If we had them, we
don’t know how to use them. We can just wait.” She declared, huffing as every woman around her felt the same
rancor she was experiencing towards their own men, their people.
If I have to die, Klara thought, at least I want to die fighting for me. She looked at the women around her: for them—
that made sense. That, and trying to kill every Nazi in sight.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sebastian Hidalgo is a Venezuelan author born in 1995.
In 2005, after the Venezuelan government violated the secrecy of vote in a referendum and persecuted several citizens, he was forced to move to northern Italy with his family. He lived there for fourteen years: during that time, he obtained a certificate in hostage negotiation and bachelor’s degree in International Relations and never stopped pursuing his true passion—writing.
In 2019, Hidalgo ultimately decided to abandon Italian as his writing language and pursue his long-time project of transitioning to English, a decision that pushed him to write the currently unpublished fantasy novel “Nightcrawlers” in 2020. That year he translated and published “Star-Crøssed: The Truth Will Set You Free”, another historical novel set in WWII that marks his independent debut in the English-speaking market and that is currently available on Amazon worldwide.