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The Watchmaker of Dachau

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  84 reviews
An unforgettable novel of human kindness, inspired by an incredible true story.

Snow falls and a woman prepares for a funeral she has long expected, yet hoped would never come. As she pats her hair and straightens her skirt, she tells herself this isn’t the first time she’s lost someone. Lifting a delicate, battered wristwatch from a little box on her dresser, she presses i
Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Published January 20th 2021 by Bookouture (first published January 2021)
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Jessica | JustReadingJess
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Watchmaker of Dachau by Carly Schabowski is an emotional World War II novel with multiple points of view.

I really enjoyed The Watchmaker of Dachau. This story is heartbreaking and hard to read at points, but this book is a great read. The Watchmaker of Dachau grabbed my attention from the first page. There were some parts that were so horrifying I had to take a break from reading. The worst part is that what is described in this story actually happened. One of my favorite parts of this book
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am always drawn to stories that focus on the good that some people were able to find amongst the heinous acts of the Holocaust. Based on a true story, we meet two Jewish prisoners, Isaac Schüller, a watchmaker, and Anna Reznick, a young woman who serves and waits on Senior Officer Becher and his wife. They are saved from the gas chambers because of their skills but are witness to the awful acts purported on the prisoners. Both of these people live in fear knowing their lives depend on their us ...more
Karren  Sandercock
Isaac Schüller a Jewish watchmaker ventures out on a cold January night in 1945 to visit his vacant shop and he’s caught on his way home. Suddenly he’s on a packed train, on his way to Dachau, after a nightmare of a trip and he arrives at infamous camp. On arrival everyone has to hand over their belongings, Isaac has none because he was picked up off the street and the guard doesn’t believe him, he searches him and finds his pouch containing his watch repair tools.

Isaac assumes he’s going to be
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have just finished reading The Watchmaker of Dachau by Carly Schabowski

The Watchmaker of Dachau is a story about friendships, hardships, World War II , Holocaust, and the suffering that Jewish prisoners had to endure during those times.

I have read a great may books on this topic, and personally feel that we should all read as many of these stories as possible, to help us understand what occurred around this time, and to educate others so these horrors never ever happen again.

This story to me h
Roxana Pacurar (Midnight.and. black)

A beautiful historical fiction about events that happened during WW2.
In 1945 Isaac, an old watchmaker was on his way home when he was taken by the military and forced in a train, with destination Dachau. Because he was found useful, he was kept alive, and he lived in the camp, repairing things. He finds a friend in Anna, a 29 yo Jewish girl, also kept alive because she was useful. She became a maid and when she could she would sneak food for Isaac and they would talk.

I loved young Friedrich, th
I am excited to be taking part in the #BooksOnTour #BlogTour for Carly Schabowski's latest heartwarming and heartbreaking novel THE WATCHMAKER OF DACHAU.

I love historical fiction and, despite it being one of the darkest times in history, and I am always drawn to wartime stories surrounding the Holocaust. It was such a sad and a particularly brutal time for, not only the Jews, but whoever was deemed different to the ideal of the perfect race...blonde haired blue eyed Aryans. It makes my blood boi
Bev Walkling

Many thanks to Carly Schabowski, Bookouture and #NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance reader copy of The Watchmaker of Dachau. The opinions expressed are my own.

Kudo’s to the author and publishers for choosing an incredibly evocative cover for this novel. The more I read, the more I realize that if the cover doesn’t appeal to me, I may never read the book. This cover drew my attention and led me to request an advance readers copy of the book for review.

I have read numerous books that te
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
The blurb of this book says that it is based on a true story. I've not been able to find the person(s) whose life is depicted in these pages. But it does make for a very interesting attempt to tell an honest Holocaust story.

The book is told from multiple perspectives: an old Jewish man Isaac, a young Jewish woman Anne, a German boy Friedrich, and an anonymous Jewish man who narrates his version of the events unfolding around him through his letters. Each character has a unique voice and hence ea
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
No matter how hard reading about times during the war can be, there is something that always draws me to them.

Carly Schabowski has written a beautiful, yet heart-breaking story through the lives of three characters. The story flicks between them so we get to see things from their point of view. We meet Isaac, Anna and Friedrich. Isaac is the eldest of the characters and through his work of mending watches, gets work at the big house which is where Anna also helps out with cleaning. Anna is twen
Victoria Rodríguez
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An interesting book. This story takes place in 1945, the year in which Isaac Schüller arrived in Dachau. Isaac doesn't understand how he got there. He assumes that he won't make it out alive. He is with other prisoners on the train. Little by little, they begin to descend. Moments later, Isaac is separated from the crowd since Officer Becher has a job for him. Isaac is a watchmaker. He will now be in the service of Officer Becher. A challenging job, Isaac must do what it takes to stay alive. I l ...more
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021

The book definitely pulls at your heartstrings. The story starts towards the end of WW2 and tells the story from 3 POVs Isaac and Anna who are in a concentration camp but have been chosen to work for the Commandant of the camp and Friedrich who is the son of the Commandant.

This story provides a glimpse into the lives of 2 Jewish adults and how they came to be at the camp and shares their memories and stories of happier times in their lives and the way in which they are treated by the Comma
Wendy Robey
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is such an emotional story. Carly Schabowski has a beautiful writing style, descriptive and emotive, and the multiple points of view really brought the story to life. It’s a story focusing on the good of people even in such horrific circumstances, and Isaac and Anna reinforce the acts of kindness necessary to remain human. Just beautiful.
Emma Crowley
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it
The Watchmaker of Dachau is the second novel from Carly Schabowski and it takes us to the heart of the concentration camp Dachau, just outside Munich, where unspeakable atrocities occurred during World War Two. The story opens with the briefest of prologues which normally give us the merest of information to get our interest piqued. Not much at all was given away here except that in 1996 in Cornwall, a woman is waiting for someone or something and is finally facing up to something. To be honest, ...more
Shirley McAllister
The Scent of Lemons

A lonely widowed Jewish watchmaker , Isaac, now in his sixties, hides an engraved watch beneath the floorboards of his shop. On the way home the Gestapo catch him and send him to Dachau concentration camp. He works as a gardener at the commander's house.

In a basement a family is hiding from the Nazi's. As they watch their father passes away. They go with their uncle to bury him outside town. Their uncle leaves them to pray over their father and they are caught by the Germans a
Sydney Long
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-reads
The Watchmaker of Dachau is a beautiful tale based on a true story. It’s captivating and hopeful yet tragic and devastating. It hooks you from the very first page and makes for a great weekend read as putting it down is something you won’t be able to do.

Written from multiple points of view, we meet Isaac, an older man swept off the street and taken to Dachau concentration camp. Upon searching him, the guards find a small tool kit and learn that he is a watchmaker who can fix things. He is then p
Srivalli Rekha
4.5 Stars

The Watchmaker of Dachau is yet another story that deals with the horrors of WW II. The main story is set during 1945, the last few months, where people who could escape for years got captured and tortured. Many more lost lives while some continued to hope and survive, waiting to be rescued.
The prologue and epilogue are set in 1996, Cornwall, England. The past is divided into three POVs (though all are written in the third person). Issac, the watchmaker, Anna, the maid, and Friedrich,
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing

These Holocaust novels that are written to remember the suffering of so many of the Jewish ethnic race whose only crime they ever committed was to not be born Aryan White Germans are not written to be enjoyed but to make sure we never forget. This was an amazingly stunning book to add to the collection that are so often memorialized today in historical fiction. This one was sure hard to read at times to picture with graphic descriptions of the cruel and
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Carly Schabowski’s powerful novel, ‘The Watchmaker of Dachau,’ is an epic, moving story based on a true account of World War Two. Due to be published January 20th, 2021, this novel is a must-have for anyone who loves historical fiction.

Isaac Schuller, 60, was on his way home from his watch repair shop one January night in 1945, when he was grabbed off the side of the road and placed on a train heading for Dachau. When he arrived, repair tools were found in his pocket, leading the receiving offic
Leslie M.
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Books in this genre are some of my favorites, and this was no exception.

The story takes place in 1945 at Dachau, where the Nazis are working to eliminate the inmates through any means possible (including starvation and torture) before the Americans arrive.

It's obvious that the author put a lot of care and time into crafting the characters and storyline. The reader is made to feel a part of the story, watching it all unfold. Schabowski holds the reader captive, as no word or scene is wasted in
Nicola Short
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A powerful Historical World War Two novel.
An unforgettable novel of human kindness,
What a emotional read inspired by a true story. The Watchmaker of Dachau is truly a haunting,heart wrenching story. There is hope, friendships, despair, tears, sadness and suspense as well as inspirational moments.
In this terrible, atrocious time friendships were made along with the perseverance to survive.
Well written, well researched....highly recommend you pick up this book.
Thank you to NetGallery, Bookouture
Melissa B
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Based on an actual happening, and the horrible experiences of many others this historical novel brings to life the cruelty, the undeserved hatred of one people toward another - inhumanity toward humans. It is heartbreaking, but hopefully, we as a people, have learned from the circumstances described.
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books-read
This story is beautifully written and is very heartwarming. I love the way it focuses on the individuals and who they were, not just the suffering, keeping the memory of the individuals alive. This story brings honour to their life’s and memories by not just focusing on the atrocities that happened in Dachau but also reminding us of the people who they really were and what was really lost to us, not just numbers but real people with real families, real life’s and real dreams. This book manages t ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
~ a strong 4.5 stars ~
Well this broke my heart. The story telling in this was so good. I would definitely read more from this author. I just need time to compose myself before I do 😅
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My heart was just ripped out of my chest and crushed. I was so moved by this story and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys World War II Historical Fiction and specifically stories centered around the Holocaust. Much of the story takes place outside the Dachau camp and gives the reader a narrative about those that were chosen to serve Nazi commanders in their homes and outside the camp. This book was a 5 star read for me and is in my Best of 2021 list. I will definitely pick up a book by Ms. ...more
Sofe Gershman
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
EBook Review: THE WATCHMAKER OF DACHAU by Carly Schabowski

(T) he
(H) ours
(E) xpand...

(W) atching
(A) ll
(T) he
(C) ruelty
(H) eighten...
(M) emories
(A) re
(K) ept...
(E) xperiencing
(R) eality's

(O) ffensive
(F) earful

(D) egradation...
(A) long
(C) omes
(H) ope
(A) nd
(U) ncertainty

The Officer sees him, as useful.

Even though specialized skills, don't have.
He's expected able to, fix anything.

Saying no not option, must do.
Others like him treated, same way.

Americans and Britis
Krista (A Crease In The Spine Book Reviews)
Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this arc.

So I need too dry my eyes now after reading this book.

The Watchmaker of Dachau was a deeply profound book that was deeply moving. Schabowski knows how to make you feel each character so much so that I felt like I was there with them in Dachau.It all felt so real. She has an incredible way of creating such a story.

A very moving read and one I will not forget anytime soon
Tony S
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a powerful and moving book. Told from several angles as each chapter is divided by the person telling their side of the story.
This makes for a fascinating read and being based on a true story even more so. I was totally hooked to see what would happen to everyone involved.
This is a must read for 2021 if you are into this genre of book.
Ellie J.
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars
Recommended for people who like:
historical fiction, WWII, the Holocaust, slice-of-life stories, multiple POVs

I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

TW: minor sexual assault, the Holocaust

This is a pretty quick read that I thought was fairly enjoyable. The beginning was a bit confusing, since we're immediately introduced to a lot of different narrators, but it's one of those things where things start making sense after each narrator has had a chapte
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It truly fascinates me (if you read my reviews, you’ll know I’ve said this before) that no matter how many Holocaust stories are written (many of them based on fact – yes, all of them find their basis in the facts of the Holocaust, but I mean that many are based on actual stories that have been passed down by survivors of people who they came across in the camps, and these are the ones that find their way in to these ‘fact-based novels’), they are all quite unique; each with their own nuances. A ...more
Across the Sky In Stars
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Note: This book was provided to me as an advanced reading copy by the publisher.

This book focuses on three main characters and how their stories intertwine. First there is Isaac Schueller, the titular watchmaker. In the beginning of the novel, he is picked up off the streets and transported to Dachau. There, his watchmaking skills come in handy. The overseer of the camp who lives on the property with his family happens to be in need of clock repairs. He has a grandfather clock that was given to
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Carly Schabowski worked as a journalist in both North Cyprus and Australia before returning to Oxford, where she studied for an MA and then a PhD in creative writing at Oxford Brookes University.

Carly now teaches at Oxford Brookes University as an associate lecturer in Creative Writing for first and second-year English literature students.

The Ringmaster’s Daughter is Carly’s debut novel and will b

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