Finding Rebecca by: Eoin Dempsey
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?
I’ve had a new fascination with WWII novels. I stumbled upon The Nightingale a couple of months back and loved it. Which brings me to Finding Rebecca. I was drawn into the story of Christopher and Rebecca from the beginning. It starts out with them meeting as children, then growing up together, as the best of friends.
The story takes a sudden turn when the Germans start to invade the Island of Jersey, where they live. When Rebecca decides to register as a Jew, they are separated. Christopher joins the SS to begin his search to help (and save) her from the concentration camps.
I loved Eoin Dempsey’s raw description of the camps and life as an SS officer. I’ve read other reviews criticizing the rank Christoher achieves in the SS so quickly. One thing I do while reading historical fiction, is to remember that it is fiction. I felt as though I was at the camp with Christopher, watching the thousands of prisoners stumble off the cattle train, grasping to life, not knowing their fate.
This book tugged at my emotions. I grew to love Christopher and sympathize with his journey of trying to find his true love, not knowing if she was alive or dead.