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Night of Flames: A Novel of World War II

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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  271 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Painting a vivid and terrifying picture of war-torn Europe during World War II, this tale chronicles the lives of Anna, a Krakow university professor, and her husband Jan, a Polish cavalryman. After they are separated and forced to flee occupied Poland, Anna soon finds herself caught up in the Belgian Resistance, while Jan becomes embedded in British Intelligence efforts t ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by McBooks Press (first published October 1st 2007)
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Corinne Edwards
In Night of Flames, our two main protagonists are Jan and Anna - two Polish citizens in Poland at the beginning of the war. However, before we even meet them, this husband and wife are separated as Jan's career with the Polish military sends him to defend his nation from the invading German army and Anna is left in a country on the brink of catastrophe.

Because I don't want to spoil the story, I won't give too many details - but one important piece, which made the book incredibly interesting, is
...more
Crystal
Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is so much more that I expected. I wanted to read it and requested it from Pump Up Your Book Promotions. I knew it was a novel of WWII and I knew it involved Poland which I knew little about. I believe reading this have given me a better understanding of some of the lesser known, yet very important battles of WWII. The story moves along at a wonderful pace, always moving forward and it kept me turning the pages.

Anna and Jan are the main characters in this novel, a married couple separ
...more
Juli
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rating for this really good book. I've known the author and his family since I was a little girl, and I'm so happy that I finally got around to reading his book. I love historical fiction. "Night of Flames" is fast paced and, at times, I cringed at how vivid the details of war were. While I was reading I felt as if I was there with the characters. The historical aspect was intriguing to me and the story was gripping. It was nice to read in the "author's note" at the end, that writing "Night ...more
Sensitivemuse
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like some of the books I have read from this era, Night of Flames reflects the hardships people had to endure during this time; from hiding away and avoiding arrest, to desperately trying to survive through very difficult times, to leaving your home and finding another one hoping you'd be safe there, and to find your loved ones hoping they had survived.
These are most of the themes covered in this book.

You go through the book through the eyes of mostly Anna and Jan Kopernik. Jan, who's a Polish
...more
J.S. Dunn
3.0
A good enough story that got lost in short chapters which frequently changed setting from country to country. The overly stolid, plodding prose style did not help. Jacobson should read ten or 12 high quality works before attempting another novel. The author's note does have an apology of sorts, an aw-shucks-I'm-just-an-engineer apology in it, but this novel needs a ruthless edit and some additional coaching from the WI writers' group. Try reading your stuff out loud. That old trick really doe
...more
Kaye
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In his debut novel set against the backdrop of World War II, Douglas W. Jacobson weaves a complex story of a young Polish couple, Jan and Anna Kopernik, seeking to be re-united amidst the ravages of war torn Europe. The story takes place in Poland and Belgium alternately following Jan and Anna as they try to cope with their separation in horrific war conditions.

When the Germans begin their relentless invasion into Poland in 1939, Anna has just come from Krakow to Warsaw to attend the funeral of
...more
Serena
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Jacobson's Night of Flames is a gritty "spy" novel set during World War II beginning in 1939 during the invasion of Poland by the Nazis. The main protagonists Anna and Jan Kopernik are separated by war and face near misses with the wrath of the Germans. Anna joins the resistance in Belgium reluctantly, while Jan jumps at the opportunity to help MI6 on a secret mission in Poland with the hope that he can find his wife.

"Anna's eyes snapped open and she sat bolt upright. The shrill sound bl
...more
Gaby
Oct 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis:
Night of Flames begins in September 1939, as Germany invades Poland. Through the characters of Anna and Jan Kopernik, Douglas Jacobson takes us through the days of Poland's occupation, the bravery of vastly outnumbered Polish troops, the overwhelming force of the German military, and the heroism of the underground resistance.

Jan Kopernik, an officer in the famous Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade, a.k.a. the Polish cavalry, is a career officer sees firsthand the gaps in their intelligence so
...more
Irene
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-away
Douglas W. Jacobson offers a diverse and personal approach to an unequivocal component of WWII in his meticulously, well-researched first novel. It originates with the German invasion of Poland in 1939, to introduce us to the fictional characters of Jan and Anna Kopernik.

Through their divergent paths, we proceed to the" true grit" of this book: the examination of the grossly unrecognized heroes of the resistance movement in Poland and in Belgium.

I believe this extraordinary novel is a well-deser
...more
Bobbie  Crawford
Night of Flames
Written By: Douglas W. Jacobson
Published By: McBooks Press, Inc., Ithaca, New York, 2007, First Edition, 383 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1-59013-166-4

Night of Flames is an entertaining historical fiction novel. I have read several non-fiction, first-hand accounts as well as second-hand accounts of the holocaust so I found this book to be a less-disturbing look at some pivotal parts of the war. This is by no means as graphic as holocaust novels but instead it focuses on the undergroun
...more
Bobbie  Crawford
Night of Flames
Written By: Douglas W. Jacobson
Published By: McBooks Press, Inc., Ithaca, New York, 2007, First Edition, 383 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1-59013-166-4

Night of Flames is an entertaining historical fiction novel. I have read several non-fiction, first-hand accounts as well as second-hand accounts of the holocaust so I found this book to be a less-disturbing look at some pivotal parts of the war. This is by no means as graphic as holocaust novels but instead it focuses on the undergroun
...more
Hannah Steenhoven
May 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked it. But there were so many name's and places that it got confusing trying to remember who was who and what was what. Because some people were introduced into the story and either shortly killed afterwards or just weren't in it anymore. And the character development could have been better for both of the main characters. But it did have a lot of good information, it was historically accurate, and believable. And the short, side stories were interesting and they all tied into each other in ...more
Dave Mcgowan
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story that covers an important part of the era that is often glossed over or not mentioned at all. Poland was used as an excuse to start WWII, and we often here that those who escaped formed the Free Polish Army, headquarterd in Britain. We also hear of the Warsa ghetto dissaster and the Polish Resistance, small though it might have been.
But we don't hear about those individuals who formed the Free Polish and their families. This novel rectifies that, but needs to be followed up by
...more
Ed
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Night of Flames begins in September 1939, as Germany invades Poland. It carries through 1944. You follow the two main characters, Jan and Anna Kopernik from the invasion of Poland through Belgian underground and behind German lines adventure during the war years.
Jen
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True to life account of the Nazi invasion of Poland. Sad but realistic. Good read though.
Kelly
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Exciting and I couldnt put it down.
Phil
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book overall of an area of WWII history that I knew very little about; the Polish and Belgium resistance. I did not give it 5 stars as the author seemed to grow weary of writing at the end and it just sort "dribbled" to a conclusion. Otherwise it was a great "read."
Kathy
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hooked to the end

Love reading about WWII from many differing viewpoints. This story was excellent in that it detailed the days at the very start of the war when Germany first rolled into Poland. People are amazingly courageous under extreme conditions.
Stephen Smith
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read!
Megan Vimarco
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down!
Lisa
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pop-fiction
Night of Flames
A novel or World War II by Douglas W Jacobson

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: McBooks Press (October 1, 2008)
ISBN-13: 978-1590131664

$16.95
$7.69

From the Publisher:
Painting a vivid and terrifying picture of war-torn Europe during World War II, this tale chronicles the lives of Anna, a Krakow University professor, and her husband Jan, a Polish cavalryman. After they are separated and forced to flee occupied Poland, Anna soon finds herself caught up in the Belgian Resistance, while J
...more
Patricia Heuthe
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

I really enjoyed this historical novel giving in sight and increased awareness to military and common ordinary people who raise themselves up in extraordinary braveness uniting to fight opposition.
Sarah
I read this author’s other book a year and a half ago, enjoying most of it but finding the ending lacking. This novel both shines and suffered from the same areas as the last one.

The book’s plot is phenomenal. The tale starts out stunning with the invasion of Poland and just keeps the steam up all the way to the liberation of Antwerp four years later. There is not one slow area of the book; it’s just chock full of nail-chewing escapes, close calls, horrifying battles, and the struggle against an
...more
Kim
Sep 06, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first part of this book was the story of the German invasion of Poland in 1939. It tells about the fate of one Polish family from Krakow, the husband fighting in the Polish cavalry, the wife desperately trying to keep the rest of her family safe from the SS at whatever cost. This section, unfortunately, was enormously boring. The writing itself fell flat. I put this book down for a while and came back to it later hoping I would be in the mood for it later, but it didn't help. The writing was ...more
Bonnie
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I have read by Douglas W. Jacobson and both dealt with the invasion of Poland by the Germans and the formation of the Resistance movement. Anna and Jan Kopernik are separated shortly after the bombing starts in Poland: he is an officer in the Polish Cavalry and she is a professor at a university in Krakow. Anna's father, also a professor, is deported to a death camp and Anna flees to Belgium where she joins the Resistance. Jan escapes to Britain and is sent back to Poland ...more
Amanda
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book some months ago, had have only just realized that I forgot to write up a review. It is the story of a Polish academic wife and her army husband, who are therefore separated by the war, and their struggle to survive, and the hope that each other still lives and that they will find each other. The Belgian resistance movement is a shining star in the book. I knew a little about the French resistance (thanks 'Allo 'Allo!), but this telling of the courage of the Belgian resistance me ...more
Pamela Pickering
I've always been a big fan of WWII fiction I just don't read it as much as I used to. This one did not disappoint. I appeciate that it was written from the perspective of Polish protagonists instead of the English and American protagonists I normally encounter in this genre. The story was very adventuresome and suspenseful and did not have too many "coincidences". It also did not incorporate too many well known historical characters focusing mainly on the boots on the ground type people with muc ...more
Chi Dubinski
In 1939 the Germans invaded Poland. Anna Kopernick is an assistant professor at a university in Krakow; her husband Jan is an officer in the Polish cavalry. Anna’s father, a prominent Polish intellectual, is sent to a death camp. Anna flees to Belgium and joins the Resistance. Jan goes on undercover missions for the British. This story was inspired by the war time experiences of the author’s Belgian relatives and his own Polish ancestry. It took five years of research.
MAP
I tried. I tried for almost 2 months. I tried until I ran out of "renews" from my library. But I never could get more than halfway through it.

The first part was wonderful. I tore through it in about 2 days. But once the second part comes around, too many new characters are added and the book completely loses focus. Everything just became tedious. It was really too bad - it had a lot of potential.
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NIGHT OF FLAMES wins "Outstanding Achievement Award" 1 3 Nov 08, 2008 01:08PM  
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Doug Jacobson is a World War Two history enthusiast who travels extensivley in Europe. Doug's bebut novel, NIGHT OF FLAMES, was inspired by his belgian relatives and his Polish heritage. The theme of Doug's interest in WW2 is the courage and determination of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.
NIGHT OF FLAMES received the 2008 "Outstanding Achievement Award" from the Wisconsin Librar
...more
More about Douglas W. Jacobson

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