Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jacob's Oath” as Want to Read:
Jacob's Oath
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jacob's Oath

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  583 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
As World War II winds to a close, Europe's roads are cloggedwith twenty million exhausted refugees walking home. Among them are Jacob and Sarah, lonely Holocaust survivors who meet in Heidelberg. But Jacob is consumed with hatred and cannot rest until he has killed his brother’s murderer, a concentration camp guard nicknamed "The Rat."Now he must choose between revenge and ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Jacob's Oath, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Jacob's Oath

We All Sleep in the Same Room by Paul RomeWave by Sonali DeraniyagalaGray by Pete WentzIn the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt BellJagannath by Karin Tidbeck
Underdog Literature: 2013
22nd out of 202 books — 33 voters
Mila 18 by Leon UrisThe Red Tent by Anita DiamantNight by Elie WieselThe Chosen by Chaim PotokMy Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Jewish Fiction And Literature
299th out of 345 books — 36 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,033)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Martin Fletcher
Oct 22, 2013 Martin Fletcher rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Wish the author, that would be me, did a better job.
Tina Galli
Sep 18, 2013 Tina Galli rated it it was amazing
I received this book through the Goodreads giveaway and received it yesterday (9/17/13) in the mail. I picked it up after finishing some school work and before I went to bed, had read half the book. Needless to say it was a fantastic storyline! It took me right in and did not let go. I finished the entire book in less than 24 hours. Very well researched, very good story. I will not spoil it but if you are looking for a truly enchanting read then this is it! Any lover of WWII and it's aftermath w ...more
Lisa Miller
Feb 19, 2014 Lisa Miller rated it really liked it
As a fan of historical fiction I have read several novels set during the Holocaust. This book is different. It deals with the emotions of 2 survivors who meet in the immediate aftermath of WW II. An engaging story of love, loss, and revenge ensues... with many twists and turns along the way. Worth reading!
Nov 17, 2013 Ginna rated it liked it
Good beginning and end. The middle was tedious and boring.
Nov 24, 2013 Judie rated it really liked it
Just weeks before Germany surrendered in April 1945, Jacob Klein's young brother, Maxie, who was suffering from typhoid, was killed by a savage Nazi guard. As Maxie died, Jacob promised him would get revenge. As he prepared to leave Bergen-Belsen, Jacob saw the guard, Rat, walking out. He was in no position to follow him or keep his promise at that time but was determined to go to Heidelberg, where they both had lived, find Rat, and kill him.
Sarah Kaufman, also from Heidelberg, promised her lo
Oct 08, 2015 Kara rated it it was amazing
Jacob's Oath by Martin Fletcher: One Reader's Review

It takes unspeakable fortitude and significant literary artistry to carry off a novel embedded -- including not only the plot but the very psyches of the characters -- temporally, geographically and thematically in the immediate aftermath of perhaps the most notorious program of genocide in human history, the Holocaust.***

What is quickly and increasingly clear to the reader -- thanks to Fletcher's sophisticated crafting of the text of this narr
Virginia Myers
Sep 05, 2013 Virginia Myers rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book through the "First Impressions" program of Bookbrowse. This book is another Holocaust story but with a different twist. Instead of being focused on the horrible conditions Jacob Klein endured within a concentration camp or on the sub-human conditions faced by Sarah Kaufman who survived by hiding out for years fleeing from one safe house to another, this story is about these two Jews in the days immediately following the victories of the Allied armies. I believe the ...more
Jun 11, 2015 Cindy rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
Having read many novels set during the Holocaust I can honestly say that Jacob's Oath was not my favorite although worth reading. This story is a little different. It focuses on the emotions and feelings of two survivors, Jacob and Sarah. Jacob seeks revenge for the death of his brother. Sarah searches for her lover who she hopes is alive as they promised to marry. This book could have been 3.5 stars for me however somewhere in the middle of the story the author wrote about the sexual desperatio ...more
Sep 26, 2013 Kassie rated it it was ok
I won an advanced copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway. I don't normally go for books like this and usually read thrillers but I thought this sounded like an excellent story. I wasn't very happy with the book as a whole though. It seemed very rushed and while I liked the characters I feel as though there wasn't as much background as I would have liked. I feel like it's missing that magic that makes a book life changing. I did like it and I'm glad that I read it, but it wasn't a must- ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book riveting from beginning to end, even better than Martin Fletcher's previous novel, The List. I've read quite a bit about WWII, including novels, memoirs, biography, and nonfiction. Where both of Fletcher's books differ from most of them is that his narratives begin at the end of the war and address the horrors that survivors face when the guns and bombs fall silent. It's over…but it's not over, not really. These people must begin again with nothing--not material goods, family, ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Kristin rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Bolton
Mar 24, 2014 Andrea Bolton rated it really liked it
Amazing story, brilliantly told, with wonderful characters. It will stay with me for a long time.
Nov 04, 2013 Jeri rated it it was ok
Having read "The List" by Fletcher which I thoroughly enjoyed, this book left me feeling that I missed something. Something was missing. Maybe it was the writing and the development of the characters. I liked the characters but I wanted to know more about them. This story should have been much better.
Feb 03, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it
Jacob and Sarah are survivors of WWII and the Holocaust and this novel flips back and forth between their experiences during this horrible time in history. They meet by chance while they are in hiding in Heidelberg and are the only Jews in the entire city. Jacob is consumed with hatred and is determined to kill the guard who murdered his younger brother in the concentration camp. Sarah has lost everyone who was important to her but she is happy they have found each other. She tries her best to c ...more
Nov 06, 2015 Ginger rated it liked it
WW II has just ended and Germany's Jewish survivors are heading back to the towns and cities from which they came, even if they have no homes to return to, those having been given to the non-Jews. Jacob has survived Bergen-Belsen, but his younger brother, Maxie, did not, having been tortured and beaten to death by Hans the Rat, upon whom Jacob has pledged to Maxie his revenge.
Sarah escaped the Nazis before ever going to a camp. She and her boyfriend, Hoppi, survived by staying underground, go
Jun 10, 2015 Dorothy rated it really liked it
The dilemma: should a Jewish survivor of Bergen-Belsen kill the sadistic SS officer who killed his brother...or should he avoid the risk of dying himself and make a happy life with a woman he meets while waiting for the guard to come home to Heidelberg. This central theme of the book is explored through his debates with his lover, and through his own self reflection.

The author is a journalist whose coverage of various theatres of war informs his depiction of Germany immediately after the liberat
Jan 12, 2014 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliantly told story that opens during the last days of the Holocaust. It is the riveting tale of two Jews who have managed to escape with their lives, and the reactions and feelings that result.

Unlike most accounts of this period of history, this one goes beyond a mere description of the horrific facts; it also delves deeply into the souls of some of those involved and shows some psychological dilemmas that result. Further, it presents the reader with some moral scenarios that promp
May 05, 2015 Kat rated it really liked it
Although I read a lot of books set during World War II, I haven’t read many that are set immediately afterwards the war, so I was definitely looking forward to Jacob’s Oath – not only because of the time period, but also the plot itself. The Holocaust is a subject that has always been a draw for me, but it’s not that often that I find a book that focuses on the stories of holocaust survivors primarily after the war.

Jacob and Sarah’s survival stories are completely different on the outside, but b
Feb 07, 2014 Ginny rated it it was amazing
Jacob's Oath is an astonishingly good book. It tells the story of a concentration camp survivor who watched his younger brother be tormented to death by a camp guard, nicknamed "The Rat." Both Jacob and the guard are from Heidelberg and he vows that if he survives the camp, he will return to their home town and find and kill him. Once in Heidelberg, he meets and falls in love with Sarah, also a concentration camp survivor. This is a taut and thrilling story and I loved it from beginning to end.
Shelley Fearn
Nov 18, 2013 Shelley Fearn rated it really liked it
There never seems to be a lull in the hold that World War II has on our collective consciousness. From thrillers to love stories -- the reader has a wide range of fiction written about this time period.

Jacob's Oath is another novel set in the war focusing on the Holocaust. What sets it apart is that it deals with the war's aftermath when Europe was on the move with millions of displaced persons with nowhere to go, no way to feed themselves, and no family left.

Somehow Jacob has survived a concen
Jan 03, 2014 Patricia rated it liked it
Martin Fletcher's Jacob's Oath could have been at least a 4 star read for me had his writing style been more sophisticated, and less like a YA novel. Once again, I find his subject important and compelling, but he ruins it with an awkward and immature writing style. His ending could be spotted pretty early on in the story. When an author hammers home how good, pure, and forgiving one character is, you can bet that she will pull a reversal by the end! But, Fletcher's novel did motivate me to do s ...more
Jan 13, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
Jacob's Oath opens with it's two main characters, Jacob Klein and Sarah Kaufmann, living out the last days of World War II. Both Jews, Jacob has been liberated from Bergen-Belsen while Sarah emerged from her hiding place in war-torn Berlin, aided by a Russian Jewish intelligence officer named Isak Brodsky. Both make returning home to Heidelberg their goal and they succeed. However, once there each has to face their fears. For Sarah, it is learning the fate of her beloved while Jacob vows to kill ...more
Florence Primrose
May 10, 2014 Florence Primrose rated it really liked it
Jacob is a survivor of the Nqzi death camps returning to his home in Heidelberg in May, 1945. He has sworn to kill the Nazi who killed his brother, Maxie.

Sarah, also a death camp survivor, is making her way to Heidelberg following the end of the war where she has sworn to meet up again with her lover.

Sarah and Jacob find love but know it cannot last if Jacob can not give up his vow to kill his brother's killer.

Help comes from an unexpected source.
Carol Catinari
May 01, 2015 Carol Catinari rated it liked it
This is a post-Holocaust story...very early post, just as the war is ending..

The two main characters of course are survivors. You get their back stories as well as their current state of betwixt and between. The underlying themes of loss, grief, horror, guilt, anxiety, revenge and hope drive the story as each of the characters wrestle with their own beings.

This probably is a 3.5 and moving onto 4 rating for me. The writing is good, the story and characters maintained my interest. There is intri
Oct 10, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: listening-to
Another WWII story but with a twist since it takes place AFTER the war, but flashes back and forth to the postwar Heidelberg. The story is about 2 Jewish survivors who happen to find one another and the desperate lives they have lived in their parallel worlds. As each of them tries to heal and build a life together, they are haunted by the tole their former lives have taken on their present life together.
Dec 13, 2015 Madeleine rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is a story of what it meant to survive the Holocaust, to go "home" and find your whole existence erased. And to have to deal with that survival. There was one line, when a main character is walking down a street in her hometown and passes a couple on the street. After, her friend asks what upset her about the couple. She says: "the woman was wearing my mother's coat".
It was suggested as a read-alike for All the Light We Cannot See. It's an interesting tale about the immediate aftermath of WWII for Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in Germany. How do you live when everyone else has died? What do you do with your desire for revenge? But after reading the Doerr book I didn't find this one to be drawn as brightly. I don't think that I'll remember the characters names in a week. And I can't picture the places as vividly.
Aug 17, 2015 Renee rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ria Dawn
Feb 01, 2014 Ria Dawn rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Myra Rose
Aug 02, 2014 Myra Rose rated it it was amazing
Just finished this book and I can only say that Martin Fletcher didn't disappoint me. It's a Holocaust story set right after the war ends. The story is told through the eyes of two survivors, sharing their horrific and brutal experiences with each other and the reader. The ending may seem like it's going to be very formulaic, but Fletcher creates an ending that's both surprising and believable. Just like his reporting, his stories grab you from the first word and keep you involved to the very la ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 67 68 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Fine September Morning
  • The Boy: A Holocaust Story
  • Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews
  • Army of Evil: A History of the SS
  • This Is Berlin: Reporting from Nazi Germany 1938-40
  • The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust 1941-1945
  • That Burning Summer
  • The Nazi Occult
  • Moscow Option: An Alternative Second World War
  • Night of the Aurochs
  • Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust
  • A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika
  • Paris-Underground
  • The Goebbels Diaries
  • We Won't See Auschwitz
  • Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, 1945
  • Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany
  • Then We Take Berlin
MARTIN FLETCHER is one of the most respected television news correspondents in the world and he is also rapidly gaining an equally impressive reputation as a writer. He has won many awards, including five Emmys, a Columbia University DuPont Award, several Overseas Press Club Awards, and the National Jewish Book Award. Fletcher and his wife, Hagar, have raised three sons. He spent many years as the ...more
More about Martin Fletcher...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »