Nothing could keep Christopher and Rebecca apart: not her abusive parents, or even the fiancé she brought home after running away to England. But when World War II finally strikes the island of Jersey, the Nazi invaders ship Rebecca to Europe as part of Hitler’s Final Solution against the Jewish population.
After Christopher and his family are deported back to their native Germany, he volunteers for the Nazi SS, desperate to save the woman he loves. He is posted to Auschwitz and finds himself put in control of the money stolen from the victims of the gas chambers. As Christopher searches for Rebecca, he struggles to not only maintain his cover, but also the grip on his soul. Managing the river of tainted money flowing through the horrific world of Auschwitz may give him unexpected opportunities. But will it give him the strength to accept a brave new fate that could change his life - and others’ lives - forever?
©2014 Eoin Dempsey (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
The premise of Finding Rebecca and its WWII setting really appealed to me, and I was looking forward to reading it. However, I have found in the past that novels set in WWII, especially concerning the holocaust, rely hugely on the ability of the author to get the reader to connect with the characters to create a believable narrative set in an era that has been so extensively documented. There were two moments in the book where I felt a genuine emotional reaction - the times when Christopher had his back against the wall, feeling that all his efforts had come to nothing. For the rest of the book I really struggled to feel connected to any of the characters, who at times were rather wooden and bland, with their alleged love for each other and lust for life not communicated adequately. Despite some genuinely interesting historical details, I thought that some of the events described were extremely unlikely, given the circumstances at Auschwitz. So whilst parts of the book were intriguing and kept me reading on, I struggled with others, like the long prelude of Christopher and Rebecca's childhood, which didn't add much to the story. The ending was long-winded, repeating the same things over several times, and finally losing any emotional connection I might have felt. Overall, an ok read, but not a memorable one for me.
Inexpertly researched, "sight-only" description, clumsy characterization, rushed plot and a weak premise, coupled with modern sensibilities smeared over 20th century scenes and dialogue that makes characters indistinguishable from each other. I wanted so badly to love this book, but bad writing ruined it in only six chapters.
As a huge fan of historical fiction primarily with WWII stories I found this story to be too far fetching to be believable. I enjoyed it enough to listen to it all the way through but there were too many powerful moments that I thought were too important to skip. I expected a lot more emotion from Christopher - I felt like it was more an outline of the events that happened -almost like a report. Dempsey fails to portray the raw emotion Christopher goes through after tragic events - for example, when another guy gets shot breaking into Christopher's office to save the little girl he was hiding there and cover Christopher's tracks for him you see no emotion or devastation after really - at least not to the point that you'd expect to him to go through once he is alone and has a chance to privately grieve over the events.
Another moment I was like "what?" was when Lahm tells Christopher he can see right through him during the card came. That really jumped out to me like something big was going to happen with that foreshadowing but nothing really transpired from it.
The end of the war, the aftermath and all that transpires is completely gone. Dempsey just jumps over all of that and picks up 13 years later. Why? That would be one heck of a story. Lets face it Christopher didn't really make any friends among the SS - He comes out of nowhere to "Canada" implements all these new procedures that completely change what some SS might think of as a "good operation" by taking away the perks of their job with random searches - busting a lot of guys with stealing etc etc. At the end of the war, it was every man for himself so when the time comes to point fingers and get themselves out of trouble, you would think a lot of SS men would like to see Christopher go down.
You would also think there would be a huge plot line with him saving all those children - I highly doubt in the real world that type of operation would go smoothly with no glitches or near disasters.
I think the story needed more depth, more emotion, and definitely more details. I wish we could of heard Rebecca's story from her viewpoint of what she was going through. At the end when we find out Rebecca is married, but is she really? Was it just part of her story? Everytime he pushed for detailed she deflects. Overall Dempsey gave us just the barebones of what could of been one hell of a story or stories for that matter. I loved where he was going as far as the concept but had he expanded and went a little deeper I think this could of been amazing.
"I couldn't finish it"
The narrator was very good. That's all the good I have to say about this book. I listened for about an hour and 1/2 and then stopped. It just plodded along. I didn't think the character development was done very well. The author didn't engross me in the story. It seemed a bit disjointed. The story was about 9 hrs long and at 1.5 hrs in I was thinking either 'lets get this party started or hurry up and end.' I decided to end it early and put myself out of my misery.
Good story. Kept me captivated. The only thing I was disappointed in was the ending but that's just my morals I suppose.
This story kept me captivated from beginning to end! The characters were interesting and worth my time.
I felt every emotion while reading this novel. the author really puts you in the moment with his writing.
"Wonderful story with beautiful narration..."
Must listen for those interested in ww2. Wonderful story eith beautiful narration. .overall a good experience.
"A heartbreaking love story"
Their love was beautiful and true, but the times and circumstances were so very tragic. How Christopher and Rebecca even survived was a miracle, but that their love also survived through the insanity that was Nazi Germany was amazing.
May we never forget the hatred and insanity that the Nazi's showed the world.
"Love conquers all in this amazing story!!"
Amazing story about one of humanities darkest moments with an absolutely wonderful ending! Possibly one of the best love stories of all time in my book!!
"so okay it's average"
A decent, if somewhat uninspired, holocaust story. It has most of your standard sappy holocaust stuff. While the book doesn't excel at anything in particular, neither does it flop horribly at anything. The writing is passable and the characters are likable, but not terribly memorable, the story itself interesting enough to follow through to the end, etc. At the very least, I never found myself saying either "this is boring" or "this is stupid".
The one thing that I can name that I think would have seriously improved the book, though, was the relationship development between Christopher and Rebecca. The story relies heavily on you wanting Christopher to succeed in saving her, and caring about her, and empathizing with him. So you really need to buy their relationship. The book started pretty well with building it, but after Rebecca leaves to escape her crappy home life, it felt as if the book stopped trying to build anymore and just expected you to accept their undying love, or whatever. It was just a shame, as it's such a crucial element to the story and so many parts of the book would have been made suspenseful or heartwrenching, instead of just mildly interesting.
On another note, the narrator did an excellent job. His female voices weren't especially good or diverse. However, this book has so little female dialogue compared to male, and rarely is there more than one female voice present around the same time in the book, so distinguishing people was never an issue.
excellent read. sad, descriptive. a book that will stir so many emotions from happiness to anger and tearful
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