Friday 29 April 2016

Book Review: Vienna Prelude

I was slightly embarrassed by my answer at a recent book club meeting to the question "What was
your favourite book as a teenager"?  This is a great question, but all I could remember reading was Sweet Valley High and Flowers in the Attic.  Of course, I read the books assigned to us in English class, but none of them were favourites.  But when I returned home, I looked over my bookshelf and remembered another favourite series that I think redeems my teenage reading choices.  I was inspired to reread the first and my favourite in the series to see if it was as good as I remembered.

Vienna Prelude is the first book of The Zion Covenant series.  It is set mainly in 1936 Vienna and tells the story of Elisa Lindheim, a violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.  Elisa is beautiful, talented, Jewish and largely unaware of the Nazi threat in Europe.  When she returns to Berlin at Christmas, she is shocked and disturbed by the changes to her home and the devastating threat to the Jewish people.  When she tries to escape with her father to the Tyrolean Alps, he is taken by the Nazis and she is left to travel alone with no way of finding him.

As a teenager, this book developed a great interest in World War II and its causes.  I believe it was my first introduction to Historical Fiction and I was inspired by the fictional stories to learn a great deal about the historical world around them.  As an adult, the writing holds up and I was once again swept up into the romance, intrigue and daring situations.  The story is told from many points of view which gives a realistic picture of the complexity of war and what caused the Nazi party to come to power.

I recommend this to any fan of historical fiction or to readers who just enjoy a really great story.

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