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Stormi's Review: Fifteen Words by Monika Jephcott-Thomas


Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Released: November 22, 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 293 pages

Format: ebook, paperback

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Two young doctors form a profound and loving bond in Nazi Germany; a bond that will stretch them to the very limits of human endurance. Catholic Max - whose religious and moral beliefs are in conflict, has been been conscripted to join the war effort as a medic, despite his hatred of Hitler’s regime. His beloved Erika, a privileged young woman, is herself a product of the Hitler Youth. In spite of their stark differences, Max and Erika defy convention and marry. But when Max is stationed at the fortress city of Breslau, their worst nightmares are realised; his hospital is bombed, he is captured by the Soviet Army and taken to a POW camp in Siberia. Max experiences untold horrors, his one comfort the letters he is allowed to send home: messages that can only contain Fifteen Words. Back in Germany, Erika is struggling to survive and protect their young daughter, finding comfort in the arms of a local carpenter. Worlds apart and with only sparse words for comfort, will they ever find their way back to one another, and will Germany ever find peace?

Fifteen Words is a vivid and intimate portrayal of human love and perseverance, one which illuminates the German experience of the war, which has often been overshadowed by history.

Five Boundless Stars

The first word that came to my mind when starting this book was captivating. The story, the characters, the was all very captivating and the reader will not want to put the book down. Max and Erika are separated by war and religion in Germany during the 1940's. Together, despite their differences, they marry and have a young daughter. Max is faced with horrors unseen when he is taken captive, while fighting in a military he doesn’t agree with. Erika is lost in a world of war trying to protect her child, while seeking affection from another. She, raised a Hitler Youth, is trying to decide her loyalties. Will these two ever love and find each other again? Or will their love tear them apart? This book was so good. It was full of history and action, love and war. It had me in tears at times and happy at others. It was a real emotional journey. The story and the characters make you fall in love over and over. The war, especially this one, was a bloody long lasting affair. Books like this always put things into perspective. War is never pretty. Fifteen Words was a great read from beginning to end.

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