Author: John Simpson
Genre: Historical (1929-1938) European Pre-WWII
Length: Novel (237pgs)
Publisher: Total E-Bound (2nd May 2011)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Can love survive the horrors of a dictatorship and a concentration camp?
Two young men fall in love just as the Nazi Party is coming into power in Germany. One man is talked into becoming involved with the S.A., and then the SS while his lover looks on horrified. When their love is discovered, both men become the victims of the institution that one of them helped protect.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of dubious consent, Violence and Torture.
Review: Kurt is a 22-year-old apprentice baker when he is approached and asked to join the SA. He refuses only to be approached again 6 months later. Stefan is a 19-year-old trainee in a machine shop when he meets Kurt. It isn’t long before both men’s lives are entwined and not always for the better.
I must admit that this isn’t the first gay concentration camp romance that I have read but it is the first from the SS point of view. Kurt is swept along by circumstance and before he knows it, he is in a situation that he can’t get out of. and what’s worse is that he has dragged his lover into it. Stefan knows it is a mistake for Kurt to take a job with the SA but his lover won’t listen to reason and by the time he does it is too late.
I really enjoyed this story and while reading this book I was so glad for John Simpson’s writing style because even though it is detailed and quite graphic, because of the way he tells it as though standing from a slight distance I was able to stomach some of the scenes with only a grimace of distaste and was able to focus on the love story and not on the horrific treatment that they received.
Watching what these two men had to endure to survive is heart-breaking. Watching what both these men allowed to happen to themselves to protect the other is terrible and the treatment that they suffered just because they were gay made me want to vomit (it was really, really harrowing). The only thing that held these men together was the love that they had for each other and it was truly humbling to see a love like that. It is not quite historically accurate but its fiction and I read fiction, the time line is right and that’s all I care about.
I will recommend this to those who want a true enduring love story amidst a harrowing setting.