Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Once we were brothers by Ronald H Balson

From the publisher:

“Once We Were Brothers is Ronald H. Balson's compelling tale of two boys and a family who struggle to survive in war-torn Poland, and a young love that struggles to endure the unspeakable cruelty of the Holocaust. Two lives, two worlds, and sixty years converge in an explosive race to redemption that makes for a moving and powerful tale of love, survival, and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit.”

The story starts with Ben, now 83, publically accusing Elliot Rosenzweig, a wealthy patron of arts and culture of being a former SS Officer. Through some friendships and connections, he engages Catherine Lockhart to prepare a lawsuit, and starts to tell her his story.

There are so many stories about the Holocaust, set in so many European countries, from many points of view. This is a good one, but it’s not better, or better told than one we have heard before. There are many flaws, and I suspect a number of readers would pick up on these, and judge the book by them.

But I really enjoyed it. I know that Catherine seems naïve, and that it is unlikely that she would have spent weeks listening to Ben, all those hours unbillable. I kept reading though. It got better and better. And by the last 100 pages I couldn’t put it down.

The legal drama was much better told than the back story, and on the whole, the characters were pretty good – enough showing and not too much telling. I will read more from this author

A solid three star read.

ISBN: 9781250046390

You may also enjoy Kit by Marina Fiorato, Two Brothers by Ben Elton or The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


Ally R. said...

That sounds like a really interesting read! I think I'll have to try it. Great review!

Ally @ The Scribbling Sprite

Bev Bouwer said...

Thanks Ally. Will visit your blog soon, looks interesting.