This is a two for the price of one post 😉
I recently finished books 2 and 3 in Jack Cavanaugh’s Songs in the Night series. Cavanaugh is a fantastic storyteller/historian. (Fantastic enough for me to not stop reading in the car when that motion-sick headache started coming on.)
Cavanaugh’s Songs in the Night series takes place over the course of several decades, but the guts of the story-line are pulled from Hitler’s Nazi Germany and the years of oppression in East Germany following the war.
Book 2, His Watchful Eye is my favorite in the series. Probably because it takes place during the war and I am drawn to World War II history. The continuing story of the rescue of disabled children from the horrors of Hitler had me sucked in from page one, but one thing I very much appreciated about this book was the historical lens through which Cavanaugh told the story. I’ve read a number of World War II historical fiction books that I have enjoyed (Brock and Bode Thoene are awesome), but this is the first told from the perspective of a disillusioned Nazi soldier. Cavanaugh put a real humanness behind some of these soldiers who were not sold out to Hitler’s ideals, but who were stuck in a war that caused them to war within themselves. (Now, I know there were plenty of Nazi soldiers who were gung-ho for all things Hitler, but to see another side of a German WWII soldier was very interesting.)
Book 3, Above All Earthly Powers takes place years after the war. Though I was slightly less glued to book 3 than I was to book 2, it was also a great story. And it was in this book that I felt like I received a great lesson in history. I remember the cold war. I remember hearing of the Berlin wall, and I remember when it came down. I was in junior high. But I didn’t know much of the history and hadn’t ever read about the severe oppression on the east side of the wall. It is so bizarre to think that on one side the the wall people lived free and on the other they lived in fear. This book gave such a great history lesson in story form. It actually prompted me to google the Berlin wall and look into it a little more myself.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I love historical fiction. I love to be learning about history while at the same time being engrossed in a great story. If you are a historical fiction girl (or guy) like me, you should be reading Cavanaugh.