Hey all! Today’s book review is going to be a historical fiction, based on true events, Beyond Tracks by Michael Reit.
It’s no longer safe here.
When the Jewish families of Berlin start disappearing in nightly raids, 21-year-old Jacob Kagan knows it’s only a matter of time before the trucks come for him. Along with his family and best friend, he flees the country he’s always called home to find shelter in a Dutch refugee camp. Before long, the Netherlands falls to the Nazi war machine — Jacob’s new home is transformed into a transit camp with weekly trains bound for the horrors of the Eastern concentration camps.
Handpicked by the cruel new SS regime to police the camp’s Jewish population, Jacob has the opportunity to save his parents and best friend from the dreaded transport lists — but at what cost?
Based on true events, Beyond the Tracks is a redemptive story of unconditional loyalty and a will to survive impossible odds.
No. of pages:- 442 pages
Date published:- will be published on September 17th 2020
Genre:- Historical fiction/Jewish fiction/Holocaust
Michael Reit is an independently-published author. That means he likes to do everything himself, but he doesn’t identify as a control freak.
An avid fan of history and historical fiction, and intrigued by WWII, Michael spent years researching lesser-known events, locations, and people to produce his debut novel Beyond the Tracks.
He’s currently working on his next novel on the Polish Home Army, one of the largest resistance networks in Europe during World War II.
Born in the Netherlands, he now lives in beautiful Vienna, Austria, with his partner Esther, daughter Bibi, and Hungarian Vizsla Maggie. You can connect through michaelreit.com or Twitter (@MichaelReit).
Thank You Netgalley and the publisher for this book–this review is based purely on my honest opinion.
The story is set during the Nazi era. Jacob Kagan is a German Jew living in Berlin and he and his father are running their family pharmacy in Berlin. On the night of Kristallnacht, their pharmacy was nearly destroyed and realizing that they are no longer safe in Berlin, moves to Amsterdam to start a new life. Jacob and his best friend, Ethan also a German Jew move to Westbrook, a Dutch labor camp for Jews. When the camp was taken over by the Nazis, both Jacob and Ethan were appointed in the Jewish police. Jacob would do anything to save his parents and his best friend at any cost.
I am always a fan of Holocaust fiction or anything that is based on WWII era books. This book, is based on true events–the Polish Home Front, some of the characters like Zofia, Marian and Antoni are real, though Jacob is a fictional character, as the author says. As usual, reading Holocaust books would make me emotional and sad, at how many Jewish people and others who opposed Nazis lost their lives during the war. I really like the character of Jacob–despite being a part of Jewish police, he was opposed to brutality and would do work hard to save the loved ones. I admire those types of brave and courageous character and I am sure, that at that time, there were Jewish men, just like Jacob. The appalling conditions and descriptions of the train ride to Auschwitz was too real, cramped in a cattle car with people having no idea that they are being taken to the death. I also admire how Zofia and Marian, two Polish people would risk their own lives to save some of the Jews from the Auschwitz–I admire their bravery. The writing was flowing, making the reader transport back to those terrible times.
I would say, since this is the debut book of this author, he did a good job writing this book. He had done tremendous research, making the fiction into a reality thus transporting the reader back to those times. The horrendous conditions at the camp, particularly at Auschwitz, the harsh treatments imposed on the prisoners, both by the Jewish kapos or police and the Nazis were sometimes a bit too emotional to read and disturbing but one has to remember, this really happened in real life. Overall, this book brought me an emotional roller coaster ride.A very touching story about friendship at hard times, about true real friendship, that a friend would do anything, even if it means risking their own life.
Worth five stars!
For anyone interested in this book, this will be released on September 17th 2020. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon now!