*** This book was given to me in return for a review ***
*** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS ***
Would I read it again - Yes
Plot - Well organised and developed, keeps you interested
Characters - Funny, intriguing, excellently developed
Movie Potential - Yes
Ease of reading - Very easy to read and enjoy
This is Book 2 in the Three Nations Trilogy, the follow up to Book 1 The Luck of the Weissensteiners.
To start off with, this story made a great start. The first line is brilliant and really reels you in. The story is about Sebastian, a 16 year old boy in Vienna, who has an accident that results in him losing part of his leg. The story is about his struggle over the years, during the war, finding love, struggling with his disability and finding his place in the world.
As an overall story, I love it. As someone with both legs, but who has to use a wheelchair and a walking stick, I understand Sebastian’s unwillingness to complain when the pain gets worse, or to tell anyone in the beginning. It’s scary and you don’t want to admit that it’s happening. But I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to actually lose a part of your body. Especially at 16. I can also understand the reluctance to believe true love is possible, to worry about pity and how ‘incapable’ other people may see you. It’s never an easy thing to be different. And for Sebastian, he is a Jewish cripple in a time when both alone would have him scorned by society at large, but when one could get him killed.
I have to admit that I was completely shocked by Franz, not at all surprised by Ingeborg and I love Mathilde. I really like that Mathilde and Vera have plans for Franz and that Vera’s going to fight. I’m a very old fashioned person when it comes to relationships and I wouldn’t, personally, tolerate cheating in a relationship, but I do like that he’s going to get his comeuppance and I do understand Vera’s wish to save her family. She has a 16 year old boy who needs her, who is going through a very big change in his life, and it makes sense that she doesn’t want to make things even worse for him by ignoring the affair or leaving her husband. I think it was a real shame that Sebastian couldn’t know Eva’s secret until after it mattered, but you wished he could so that he would understand it wasn’t his fault.
The characters in this book are just as great as the ones in its predecessor. I think Vera is a lovely, confused but very nice woman suffering a lot of strain and guilt that isn’t necessarily needed. And Sebastian is a very nice, charming young man. I feel bad for him though, with the whole difficulty finding and trusting love situation. I hoped through the whole book that he was able to get over it and not become too like his dad, or let it make him feel unwanted.
I was really pleased to see Sebastian’s change of luck in love and the good news that came with it. Then, just like the emotional rollercoaster that this story it, everything changed. I really liked the inclusion of the séance, since I’m a big believer of the supernatural. It’s really nice to see Sebastian getting back to his books and making a friend. However much I try, I find Magrit to be quite selfish and naïve, very easily led. But it is oddly nice to see what happens to her, even though I don’t like her much. But then, I don’t like her because of what she did so…
This story, though, is similar to the previous one in that it’s about a lot more than just a family and their struggles. It’s about more than a war. It’s moving, it draws you in and makes you care about people you don’t know instantly. There’s this constant hidden fear and expectation, this constant feeling that things are too good to be true for that moment.