‘The Gathering Storm’ by Alan Jones is the first in a stunning series called The Sturmtaucher Trilogy. I am an avid reader of historical fiction and when this tour popped into my email I couldn’t reply fast enough.
A novel that begins as Hitler and his National Socialist party are clawing their way to power in 1933 Germany. We meet the Kästners, a prominent Military family who are so well known in the social, naval and yachting circles. Then we have the Nussbaums, two generations of this family have been in service to the Kästners, but they are friends too. With the rise of Hitler, the Kästners and others like them are riding a high…they haven’t yet thought of the implications for their friends and domestic staff, the Nussbaums, who are Jewish.
The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews. When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees and to spirit them to safety.
As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.
A novel that Alan Jones has clearly poured his heart and soul into. A fictional account cleverly interwoven with facts of what people endured during the Second World War in Germany. The research that went into this is painstakingly present throughout.
It shows exactly how Hitler managed to get where he did and as quick as he did at that time. At first, it was just rumours and people like the Kästners who are really good friends with the Nussbaums, still don’t really believe.
But as Hitler and Himmler, Goebbels, Heydrich, Goering and Hess, amongst others, work on their plans to get rid of all non-Aryans from Germany, while invading and annexing Czechoslovakia, the Sudetenland and Poland, Jews start to see their lives become harder and harder as their jobs, homes, money and their freedom are beginning to be taken away from them by the Nazi’s. As Jews begin to flee out of the country the Nussbaums decide to stay while knowing their privileged position being with the kästners could end at any moment.
A novel that is packed with true historical events that form the backbone to this fictional account of the two families as the horror of Hitlers ‘reign’ unfolds. I am in my element when it comes to historical fiction and this book ticked every box.
The fact that Alan Jones has woven a story that really does make you feel so close to these families and you see these years through different perspectives and the differences in how people were treated. The brutality which everybody knows of seems closer and crueller as you read this book. It puts on show the power Hitler gained with a lot of people in the country and just how much badness he brought out of in a lot of people during those years.
A book that I feel everybody should read as almost an educational text. I found it an enthralling and most definitely an immersive story that broke my heart into a million pieces then stamped on it! Such an amazing book…can’t wait for the next one.
Thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Alan Jones for my gifted copy of the book.