Book Beginnings: Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

Not only does Gilion host the European Reading and TBR 23 in 23 on her Rose City Reader blog but also Book Beginnings on Friday. While I’m no stranger to her European Reading Challenge, last year I decided to finally participate in Book Beginnings on Friday. This week I’m back with another post.

For Book Beginnings on Friday Gilion asks us to simply “share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week, or just a book that caught your fancy and you want to highlight.”


The girl—a young woman, really, eighteen, hair the color of corn silk—had been hearing the murmur of artillery fire for two days now. Everyone had. A rare and peculiar winter thunderstorm in the far distance. Little more. The sconces in the living room hadn’t twitched, the chandelier in the ballroom (a modest ballroom, but a ballroom nonetheless) barely had trembled.

Last week I featured the 2007 memoir My Name Is Iran by Davar Ardalan. The week before it was the 2011 mystery 1222 by Norwegian author and former Justice Minister Anne Holt. This week it’s the 2008 historical novel Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian. 

In keeping with my unannounced goal of reading more historical fiction I decided to borrow a copy of Skeletons at the Feast from my small town pubic library. Here’s what Amazon has to say about it. 

In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines.

Among the group is eighteen-year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats. There is her lover, Callum Finella, a twenty-year-old Scottish prisoner of war who was brought from the stalag to her family’s farm as forced labor. And there is a twenty-six-year-old Wehrmacht corporal, who the pair know as Manfred–who is, in reality, Uri Singer, a Jew from Germany who managed to escape a train bound for Auschwitz.


2 thoughts on “Book Beginnings: Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

  1. Pingback: Book Beginnings: Thanks to My Mother by Schoschana Rabinovici | Maphead's Book Blog

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