Quick Review: A Wedding at Auschwitz by Erich Hackl

I picked up this little novel (149 pages) on the new release shelf at the library. It looked interesting: a true story about a wedding that was allowed to occur at Auschwitz in WWII. I was drawn into the story of Rudi and Marga, their family and friends, as various survivors narrated the story of their meeting, courtship, and actual wedding at Auschwitz where Rudi was being held as a political prisoner and agitator. My challenge in this story was that the voice of the first-person narrator kept changing without notice. At one point it was Marga’s sister, at another, Rudi’s son from his first wife, at another Rudi and Marga’s child, at still another a friend from the camp. I at times had to stop and re-read once I realized it was a new storyteller. However, that said, I loved the approach of different voices and different points of view telling this story. Of course, for some insane reason I thought this story would have a happy ending. (Spoiler Alert!!) I should have realized that if “Auschwitz” is in the title, and the story is true, the chances are slim that the end is happy. That said, I enjoyed this short novel and even though the ending was sad, the hope and love portrayed in this novel, along with the tenacity of the prisoners and their belief in love flourishing in the midst of such great evil….well, that made this story shine with a positive light for me.

I give it 4 1/2 Stars!

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