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Jacob's Oath

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  398 ratings  ·  71 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
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Martin Fletcher
Oct 22, 2013 Martin Fletcher rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Wish the author, that would be me, did a better job.
Tina Galli
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
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!
Ginna
Good beginning and end. The middle was tedious and boring.
Judie
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
...more
Virginia Myers
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
Kassie
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
Nancy
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
Kristin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Bolton
Amazing story, brilliantly told, with wonderful characters. It will stay with me for a long time.
Jeri
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.
Lynda
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
...more
Ginny
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
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
...more
Kara
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
...more
Patricia
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
Amy
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
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.
Nancy
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.
teatotaller
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.
Ria
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Myra Rose
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
Cathy
I liked the book. However the ending with Jacobs father coming back was a little strange. Also we never got to see Jacob's reaction to Sarah's actions concerning the rat. These two factors made the ending less than satisfactory. I will have to say it was a page turner!
Susan
A different view on historical fiction aboUt the Holocaust. Two German Jewish survivors return home to find no other Jews and their homes no longer theirs. This was not a great read, but it was okay and a different, interesting perspective.
Sharon
I gave this book 4 stars - not because the writing was amazing but it was a good story that completely held my interest. It takes place right after WWII and is the story of two survivors of the holocaust. Very good read. I now want to Martin Fletcher's first book "The List".
Alison
I enjoyed this book and would give it 3.5 stars if I could, however it doesn't rate a full 4 as I tend to be a bit stingy with my stars. I definitely recommend it and plan on reading The List soon.
Karen Crooks
I recommend this book. The author, Martin Fletcher, explores and exposed me to the complex emotions of survivors who meet after WWII and fall in love. The pain and suffering endured is heart-wretching.
Pat Jorgenson Waterchilde
Good story. Not as engaging as I thought it would be. A different twist to the end of WWII and the Jewish survivors yet very understandable. I struggled with the writing. It didn't flow for me and often times I had to go back to read passages again. I would recommend this book.
Susie
It would have been a great book because the subject matter was interesting ( life for a Jew post holocaust in Germany). Instead it was all about their sex life. With a tad bit of murder.
Brenda
This novel was extremely well written. The horrors that happened during WWII were described in a way that truly got to me. There is much sadness in this story, but some happiness and love too.
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MARTIN FLETCHER, Special Correspondent, NBC News and PBS, has won five Emmies, a Columbia University Dupont award, and many more broadcasting awards. He has written two non-fiction books, one of which won the National Jewish Book Award, and two novels. He is currently writing his third novel, splitting his time between London, Tel Aviv and New York.
More about Martin Fletcher...
The List Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation Breaking News: A Stunning and Memorable Account of Reporting from Some of the Most Dangerous Places in the World Jacob's Oath: A Novel The War Reporter: A Novel

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