Christoph Fischer has written an important historical rendition of wartime Eastern Europe that will continue to haunt you for a long time after you finish reading it. The Luck of the Weissensteiners presents the spirit and horrific social conditions of Bratislava and the neighbouring countries during the Holocaust. The actual political figures of that era are embedded in the story but the slew of other characters are all strong fictional creations that give life and credibility to the historical backdrop.
It is a touching story of courage, love and heroic endurance in a time of abject cruelty and terror. War has the knack of bringing out either the best or the worse of the human psyche--both extremes are equally depicted in the novel.
The players in this drama are far from being two-dimensional; even the cold, unfeeling characters will at times show a glimmer of warmth. Greta and her Jewish family remain loyal to their compassionate and trusting nature throughout their terrifying ordeal. Her fate is sealed when she falls in love with Wilhelm, a charming German bookseller whose true colours as a calculating anti-Semite are revealed when the going gets tough.
Be prepared for emotional upheaval while reading this-- you cannot remain untouched.