A Castle On The Rhine by Charles Kernow published by Austin Macauley though set in contemporary times goes back in Nazi Germany to explore all things arty and literary. I was instantly attracted towards the blurb because I have always loved reading books and watching movies set during or after Holocaust.
A Castle On The Rhine follows the story of Edward Clarington a freelance photographer, previously an editor, who has been back from Yemen. An unusual call greets him and takes him to Spain where lives Giles and Sebastian, the duo who have suffered at the hands of anti-Semitism and more unnerving policies introduced in Nazi Germany. Giles, is a storehouse of information, he has met Hitler, shook hands with him and has been with the troop that would play for Hitler. But he has a lot more to say than this.
One thing you will at once notice is the proficiency of language. It is peppered with similies and metaphors alongside weaving a dramatic narrative. The author’s interest in Music, Catholicism and Linguistics shows. Moreover, the author asserts a certain aspect or rather, a gruesome policy, Lebensborn, which was not much spoken about. In fact, it took me by surprise that in Hitler’s regime, the mindset was so stuck up that he wanted to BREED children of pure and healthy Aryan race.
The novel is a mosaic for music lovers especially Wagner’s fans. They may pick the conversations of their interest and skip the rest. Same goes for the those interested in theology and also those like me who are keen on reading a new Holocaust story. However, the climax, as asserted in the blurb that it will take you by surprise, failed to do so to me. I had been expecting something of a different magnitude and I received something else. To be precise, as soon as the character of Ute was introduced there was no doubt left that she is a Lebensborn child and the one adopted by Hoffmans.
At some point I felt that the author deliberately lengthened the novel. Avoiding unnecessary dialogues could have made the script more tighter. Nonetheless, you have an option to binge read.
I would rate it a 2 star because I feel that the author could have made it into a racy read by avoiding certain scenes and also by concentrating on one particular subject.
On the scale of readability it sure is 8 on 10 because it brings forth three different languages but retains the dailogue ettiquettes of British English.
Publisher: Austin Macauley
Available on: Amazon, Flipkart
Which is your favorite Holocaust story? Share with me.