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The children's war
J. N. Stroyar
Adult Fiction STROYAR

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From Publishers' Weekly:

What if the Nazis had won WWII? This isn't the first time a writer has tried to visualize that possibility, but nuclear physicist Stroyar comes up with perhaps the most lavishly detailed scenario so far, realistically describing an alternate 21st century in her massive debut. The author, whose own family suffered under the Nazis, spent a decade on research and travel to Eastern Europe and areas of the former U.S.S.R. With frightening authenticity, she weaves a gripping page-turner that revolves around two men who strive to undermine the Nazi regime. First is Peter Halifax, an Englishman with multiple identities who was orphaned at a young age, adopted by the Underground, betrayed and then doomed to a life of abuse. Then there is Richard Traugutt, an ambitious Nazi official who secretly spearheads the Polish resistance movement's efforts to infiltrate the Third Reich and hasten its demise. When Peter miraculously escapes a life of tortured servitude to a ruthless Nazi official, he blunders into the Polish underground. As Peter and Richard's complex stories unfold, the author layers her fictional tale of modern-day life in the Third Reich with historical accounts of actual atrocities as well as the role of the Polish resistance movement during WWII. The most daring section of the book showcases the underground's plan to use Peter's tragic story as a means to gain support from the North American Union, the only free territory in the world. The author's uncompromising portrayal of an American public inured by evidence of atrocities and only interested in sensationalist personal revelations is a strong indictment of civilized society. Those entranced by what-if scenarios will find plenty to delight them in these pages. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Stroyar's debut, a "what-if" depiction of Europe after the Third Reich has won World War II, focuses primarily on Peter Halifax (as he is known in one of his many identities), a man arrested for having bad papers. He is subsequently imprisoned, tortured, and condemned to death, then reeducated and thrust into a life of abject slavery as part of a Nazi experiment. After years of degrading brutality at the hands of various masters, Peter escapes to the Underground, only to find himself under suspicion as a collaborator. Many heartrending moments follow in the battle against Nazi oppression. Though the pace of the last third occasionally slows and there may be comparisons to Robert Harris's Fatherland and Len Deighton's SS-GB, this is much more than a pat suspense novel or mystery; rather, it is an immensely assured and beautifully written work, remarkable for its nuanced characters, its insights into the subtleties of human relationships under stress, and its devastating portrayal of the horror of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming cruelty. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [The author is an American nuclear physicist living in Germany whose family members had been victims of slavery and concentration camps. Ed.] Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Peter Halifax
Age: Young adult
Resistance fighter.

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