Skeletons at the Feast

Skeletons at the Feast

by Chris Bohjalian
4.2 194

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Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

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.

As they work their way west, they encounter a countryside ravaged by war. Their flight will test both Anna’s and Callum’s love, as well as their friendship with Manfred–assuming any of them even survive.

Perhaps not since The English Patient has a novel so deftly captured both the power and poignancy of romance and the terror and tragedy of war. Skillfully portraying the flesh and blood of history, Chris Bohjalian has crafted a rich tapestry that puts a face on one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies–while creating, perhaps, a masterpiece that will haunt readers for generations.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307449559
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 05/06/2008
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 46,016
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the critically acclaimed author of eleven novels, including Midwives (a Publishers Weekly Best Book and an Oprah’s Book Club selection), Before You Know Kindness, and his most recent New York Times bestseller, The Double Bind. His work has been translated into nineteen languages and published in twenty-two countries. He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter.

Visit the author at

From the Hardcover edition.


Lincoln, Vermont

Date of Birth:

August 12, 1961

Place of Birth:

White Plains, New York


Amherst College

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Skeletons at the Feast 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 192 reviews.
Ushi More than 1 year ago
I was born in Cologne Germany in 1939. When I was 5 years old we were evacuated to Sachseny in East Gemrnay.
After a wile there, we were urged to flee towards the West because the Russians were coming closer and everyone knew what they would do to women and female children.....

I was part of the people on the street and also dodged the low flying English planes. We went from farmhouse to farmhouse to ask for food and for baby buggies for the younger children, of which I was one.

Chris Bohjalian ia a wonderful writer. He brought out feelings I thought long forgotten.

Thank you Chris.
crimekitty763 More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book. I could not put it down once I began reading. The story is both romantic, thrilling, honest, exciting and believable. The main character is Anna, daughter of a Prussian farmer, and her family's escape from Nazis and Russians. Other characters of equal importance are: her mother, younger brother, older brothers, father, Callum, a Scottish POW, Uri, an escaped Jewish man who takes many others identies, Joan, his sister, and the girls from a concentration camp. This is their stories of trying to reach freedom and safety. Along the way is much sadness and unbelievable atrocities. This story is definitely NOT what we were taught in high school about WW II. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially readers who enjoy historical fiction.
felix_willow More than 1 year ago
Even if you're not a history buff - World War II is fascinating - the struggles and endurance people went through during that time, it almost doesn't seem real. This is a great snapshot of life during the war, from many perspectives. The plot and characters will draw you in and you won't want to put the book down. the story flows beautifully. A must.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was totally different then the usual story line by this author, but the love stories between man and woman, mother and child-are priceless. The German WWII perspective was also interesting and kept the pages turning and turning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I should know better than to buy into the publisher's review. An epic love story this was not. Of course, this subject matter is going to be depressing, and to some degree predictable, given that we have historic fact to draw upon. However, I was, perhaps, expecting a different perspective or twist in the plot from this author. As the journey of this rag tag group plodded on through Germany, so I plodded on through the pages, horrific atrocity after atrocity making me more miserable by the page. Obviously, I was not expecting this to be a joyous, romantic romp, but I was expecting infinitely more than this book held.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not many books capture my attention as this one did. The plot was amazing and I felt myself finishing the book quickly in order to see what happens up until the last sentence. I have recommended this book to all my family and friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it, start to finish. This story of survival was very moving and had me in tears in a few spots. Great read; I would love to see it on the big screen!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i personally thought this was a great book. i am studying germany its culture history etc and i absolutely loved this book! all i know is i hate reading... hated reading... now im hooked! ha. but it truely was a wonderful book. i completely fell in love and cried for and cheered for Uri ... his character truely captured my attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It held my attention & on a scale of 1-5 (highest being 5) rated it a 3.
Thiltpold More than 1 year ago
Good account of WWII from more than just Germany's view but I enjoyed Double Bind much more. I enjoy his writing style overall.
yowen2010 More than 1 year ago
I was honestly really disappointed, upset and a little annoyed with this novel. I tried to read novels by this author before but was not able to adjust to this writer's particular writing style and couldn't connect to its story contents. However, after reading great reviews of this novel I decided to give it one more try. Unfortunately, I was not changed in my opinion and was disappointed. The story follows the journey of three sets of characters in the time of World War II- a young Jewish woman struggling to survive a Jewish work camp, a young Jewish man who escapes a train bound to the death camps and survives by impersonating Russian and German soldiers, and a German aristocratic family who escapes the Russian army. Collectively, in the end these characters meet and their stories intertwine. I found myself trying hard in the beginning to adapt to the author's writing style, and found myself dragging throughout the novel perhaps until the middle of the story. The ending was quick, short and abrupt which was upsetting because it felt like the writer built up the entire story just to end it in a short way. The story content and the treatment of the characters in the novel was biased and not equal. The Russian army was treated like a bunch of barbarians who raped, killed and wrecked havoc on the German civilians and the rest of Europe (which is a bit exaggerated in this novel). The German civilians were treated as poor beings stuck in the middle of their crazy leader's ways and were really innocent of all charges. Not enough emphasis was placed on the Jewish characters of this novel but was lightly touched upon. I found this novel a real disappointment and don't know why readers liked it. It should not be taken as the only novel to be read on this period of history. Very upsetting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
while the horrific actions done to other humans stayed with me, the author did a great job of bringing the readers into the nearly accurate account of a lesser known group of victims in WWII. I want to read more from this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is detailed and graphic and really makes you think of the time period. I wanted to read it while living in Germany to learn more about the culture and history. But I almost didn't finish this book because it was such a hard read. The story drags a bit and you feel like you are trudging through the winter with them, and I will admit I had to skip a couple chapters to get through it and I know I ended up missing details because the chapters would talk about events I had skipped over. Enlightening but a bit too long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of my favorite books!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story about Worrld War II from a German family's perspective. A heart wrenching account of the atrocities and of human perseverance. I good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very moving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I cannot believe the absolute "ignorance" of the German people! They didn't know what happened to the Jews, but they knew enough to flee the Russians! A realistic look and the end of the war for the German civilian. Vivid imagery, extremely well written!
speems More than 1 year ago
Although parts of this book are difficult to read, as are most Nazi books, it has great characters and a fast moving plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to put this book down tried to read in as short a time as possible in order to learn the characters fates
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago