Monday, July 11, 2011
"More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity." Francois Gautier
This story is told as a man in his nineties ponders the days when he was in his twenties and recruited to help in what was becoming the struggle against Germany in the days leading up to WWII.
Thomas Danforth lived a pampered life and was engaged to be wed. On a wintry night, his friend persuades him to provide a place and cover for a young woman, Anna Klein. She was to b e trained for an ultra secret operation inside Germany. Her training will be in firearms and explosives.
The reader follows the action that is presented in alternating chapters of Danforth's life today and his narration of the action in the pre-war days.
Written with intelligence and literary excellence, we witness that Anna facing her assignment with a fatalism "...like a woman walking toward her future just as religious martyrs walked toward their execution sites..." It was as if this was where Anna might find her fulfillment.
The reader knows what was going on in Hitler's Germany with his program against the Jews, but Anna doesn't. We witness her bravery and stoicism and appreciate her as a character. She is a private person as if she had been injured in some way and her reasons for taking this assignment are kept to herself.
We are able to see glimpses of the evil in Germany and the brave few who were attempting to do something about it. It is a world of deception and treachery and we follow Anna and Thomas in nervous anticipation of what could be their eventual outcomes. Something goes wrong and Anna disappears and Thomas attempts to find her.
The theme seems to be belief in oneself and having the courage to do something about an evil situation. Thomas H. Cook's work is always entertaining and with the courageous characters that come to life from these pages and an interesting plot, he has demonstrated his literary excellence in story telling.
Check my Amazon book review.