Death Steppe: A World War II Novel

Death Steppe: A World War II Novel

by Judy Bruce


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781508742401
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/04/2015
Pages: 266
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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Death Steppe: A World War II Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This compelling novel transports the reader into the Soviet Union during World War II. You feel the desperation and fear of the characters as they endure the brutality of war. It is utterly gripping.
Robindpdx More than 1 year ago
This was a well-written, moving book. Elena is a Soviet woman during the time of World War II. She goes through many experiences as the war is made more and more a part of her life, and encounters an injured German soldier, Halder. They are forced to work together to survive and a bond is formed. This was a great book, though it was intense and difficult to read about some of the realities of war. I found it difficult to put down and look forward to reading other books by this author.
1711303 More than 1 year ago
Online Book Club review: The human debris of war is not solely comprised of the slain. Fractured psyches, lacerated consciences, and ethical and moral paradoxes that fester and eat away at the made-in-His-image core like unseen gangrene are the invisible wreckage wrought upon the still-remaining, living human scraps of war’s great meat grinder. In Death Steppe: A World War II Novel, author Judy Bruce explores this motif in a sometimes raw, sometimes touching, but always unvarnished account of two unlikely people whose lives carom into one another as they ricochet off the random chaos of World War II. Published in 2015, the book is available in e-format, hardcover, and paperback. It can be classified as historical fiction. Set in western Russia in 1944, German troops are retreating from their ill-advised invasion of the Soviet Union. The Red Army has them on the run. Russian private Elena Nevskaya, a widow, Christian, and silent dissident of the great Soviet ideal, serves as a medic on and near the front lines. Before long she is conscripted into the Night Witches, an all-female division of pilots and navigators who carry out night time bombing raids on the enemy. Lieutenant Friedrich Halder, former professor and concentration camp officer, is part of the retreating German army that she is helping to bomb. If war is hell, at least it does not discriminate; both Elena and Halder suffer losses and injury and end up together in an abandoned house in the Russian countryside. Their injuries – she to her arm, he to his head – along with the unyielding Russian winter, prevent them from leaving this shelter until they have reasonably recovered and spring is near. And so these two unacquainted enemies, while not wholly subscribing to the causes of their own respective countries, are vehemently opposed to those of the other side; they begin a cautious dance of coexistence. Eventually they leave the house and, partly out of necessity and partly out what can only be termed desperate affection, unite in a complex partnership fraught with danger. They just want to survive. I am happy to give Death Steppe: A World War II Novel the highest rating. It deserves no less. It is a touching, raw story that will pull you in from the very start and keep you reading until the last page. Suspense, good writing and storytelling, unforgettable imagery, and rich, complex characters combine to make this one of the better books I’ve read in a long time. This multi-faceted story could be enjoyed by readers who like historical fiction, romance, and action stories. My congratulations to Judy Bruce for pouring her obvious talents and insights into this book and creating a stirring, poignant, thought-provoking story.
BooksDirect More than 1 year ago
Elena Nevskaya is a Muscovite, widow, literature professor, black marketeer, and secret Christian, who is "volunteered" as a medic by the Russian army in their battle against Nazi Germany in 1944. Elena is surrounded by death and, with all of her loved ones dying around her, she concludes that "love meant pain". She is forced to stare death in the face every day as she tends to wounded soldiers - first in the hospital and later on the front line. Later still, she is conscripted as a navigator with the female bomber pilots dubbed the "Night Witches", where she learns that now she must "kill - it is the only way to survive". When disaster strikes, Elena comes face-to-face with the enemy, in the form of Lieutenant Friedrich Halder, a Russian-speaking German officer who is battling demons of his own. Will they be able to put aside their differences in order to survive? The story is told in the first person by Elena and in the third person by Halder. This technique allows their stories to intertwine more and more as time progresses, without losing track of who is narrating. The book is full of interesting characters, but too many are introduced by name, making it unclear which ones we need to remember for later. Although based on true events of World War II, I doubt one woman would have gone through everything that Elena experiences - but it sure does make for an interesting story. As Elena is exposed to the horrors of war, so too are we. The writing is as stark as the landscape, with brutal descriptions of the savagery of war, the atrocities of the death camps, the suffering endured by captured enemies, and the brutality of the soldiers. While the narrative recounts what people will do in the name of war and in the name of love, it is - thankfully - interwoven with a thread of faith and hope. The fitting and realistic ending will leave you with a lump in your throat. Warnings: graphic violence, coarse language, mild sex scenes. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post:
Citajme-com More than 1 year ago
“Death Steppe” written by Judy Bruce is novel set in time of Second World War, more precisely in Soviet Union near the end of war during retreat of Germany soldiers. The first main character called Elena Nevskaya is a Russian widow who works as a medic on the front lines. The other is German Lieutenant Friedrich Halder, who is a former professor certain he will not survive the war. These two are going to meet because of unusual fate and have to rely on each other while hiding together… Judy Bruce with her novel manages to create a real convincing experience of final days of war in Russia during World War II. The strongest parts of her novel are believable characters and story in general, without clichés usually found in books of such genre. Therefore if you consider yourself a fan of good war fiction with few drops of romance, look no further because “Death Steppe” is kind of novel that will keep you interested the very last page. I was given a copy of this book by the author for the purpose of unbiased review, while all the presented information is based on my impressions.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Death Steppe: A World War II Novel by Judy Bruce is set in the western Soviet Union during Germany’s retreat. Elena Nevskaya is a Russian widow and a black marketeer serving as a medic on the front lines. She keeps her dissident side hidden. Then there’s the disillusioned 35-year-old Lieutenant Friedrich Halder, a former German professor who’s confident that he’ll die in the war. The two accidentally meet in a dangerous encounter when Elena’s ‘Night Witches’ plane crashes. These two injured enemies have to rely on each other when they take shelter in a farmhouse. Visually, Death Steppe would be a great film to watch. The historical setting is vibrantly described and Judy Bruce’s well-developed characters are the best I’ve read so far. They are well-fleshed out and their emotions vividly resonate from start to finish. Elena and Halder’s relationship progresses to friendship and eventually they become lovers. Unfortunately, their journey to make a new life for themselves is harrowing. Bruce nailed the pace and the plot of the story. The page turning quality of Death Steppe had me simply wanting to read on, even when I had other matters to attend to. On the whole, Bruce’s novel is just perfect for a relaxing read. I’ll keep my eye on her future works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A stirring historical novel that plumbs the depths of war for the possibilities of love....For fans of historical fiction or romance, this is a deft combination of the two genres, written in a wise, often poetic prose....An epic portrayal of a romance born out to the rubble of World War II.--Kirkus Reviews