A Novel

Paperback - 2014
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A sweeping tale of love and friendship, for readers of Suite Francaise , The Reader , and The Imposter Bride .
Clara Herzog is a privileged, intelligent, and thoughtful young woman whose world is changed forever when 1930s Vienna is swept up by the dark prelude of the Second World War. The cavalry officer she married in spite of her family's objections is soon called away to the thick of the conflict, and it falls to Clara, as to so many mothers, wives, sisters, and sweethearts through the centuries, to stay at home to provide and protect.
Through the war, its aftermath, and into the present, Clara must make choices and take risks that are as heroic and life-altering as any that men make in battle. She is an unforgettable character, and this is an unforgettable novel about family bonds and women's deep friendships, about courage and the love that can endure even in unimaginable times.
Publisher: Toronto :, Emblem Editions,, [2014]
Copyright Date: c2014, ©2012
ISBN: 9780771071324
Branch Call Number: FIC PAL
Characteristics: 369 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Palka, Kurt 1941-


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Jun 27, 2017

This book is a very interesting and unique treatment on the time leading up to and following the Second World War told through the experiences and deep, critical thinking of a young Austrian woman. However, I found the writing slightly awkward in many places, as if I were reading an inelegant translation perhaps. The first half of the book moves very slowly, and I almost gave up, but I was pulled along by the story enough to keep going.

Jan 16, 2017

Although the writing didn't grip me as much as The Piano Maker, this is a story that needed to be told - and is all the more relevant in these uncertain political times. A fascinating perspective from a young, idealistic, feminist Austrian student about how benign and progressive Nazi ideas may have seemed at first... and then how quickly society can devolve in the wrong hands.

Oct 28, 2016

Very good book. Well written. Strong female lead. This is a different look at WWII, told from the point of view of Clara, the wife of a German tank commander who fits with Rommel. Clara, her mother-in-law and a handful of her close friends remain behind in Austria, aiding POWs and surviving the personal jealousies of a local SS agent; all while raising two young daughters.

The book was originally released under the title "Clara", why it was changed to Patient No. 7 is beyond me. The current title is very misleading.

A very well written, interesting book. I highly recommend it.

Aug 23, 2016

A powerful book. The author has a no-holds-barred about the rise to power of the Nazis during the 30's and early 40's, and the horror of WWII. How easy it was for the Nazi party to win over the Germans by telling the people what they wanted to hear. Clara is a strong heroine and the strong love between her and Andrew is touching. Would recommend it to those who are interested in history. The Piano Maker by Palka is also an excellent read.

Aug 03, 2014

This novel is based on real events: the main characters are the witnesses and the victims of the rise of Nazism in Austria . Kurt Palka wrote it from stories and notes he discovered in a folder which had miraculously survived all the fires and bombing Austria endured during WWII. The main character is a bright,sensitive, fiercely independent and resilient woman who conquers your heart and touch your soul.

May 28, 2012

I loved this book! The story is beautifully written, and it's especially moving knowing that incidents in this book actually happened to people. I found it extremely interesting reading about the onset and development of WWII from a civilian's perspective, since there are so many novels and stories written from perspectives of people in the ghettos and camps. This was a fantastic read, and I would recommend it to anyone.

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