How does he feel about them initially? How do his feelings for them change? On page , Callum is thinking about bringing Anna home with him to Scotland after the war. How does he think she will be received? Why is he troubled? They do not wake Cecile to share them with her.
In the same circumstances, what would you have done?
Given the odds of success, would you have been brave enough to attempt to escape with Cecile and her friends? What was she like at the beginning of the war? What does she view as her primary responsibility? On pages —, she remembers burying the young German pilot whose plane crashed in her park. Why was burying him—and the enemy Russian soldiers—important to her? How does Anna change as the novel progresses?
Why does she feel the need for personal forgiveness at the end? Is she right to feel guilty?
Discuss the importance of hope in survival. Which character is the most hopeful? Which character is the most defeated?
What moments at the end of the novel symbolize hope most poignantly? As a nation, what kind of legacy are we leaving for our children? If you have not finished reading Skeletons at the Feast, we respectfully suggest that you may want to wait before reviewing this guide. It is this world that Chris Bohjalian brings vividly and powerfully to life in Skeletons at the Feast. A Prussian aristocrat struggles west with her beautiful daughter, her young son, and a Scottish prisoner of war. Meanwhile, a female Jewish prisoner struggles to survive first the horrors of a concentration camp and then a forced march west in the ice and snow of a German winter.
And a Jewish man who has leapt from a train bound for a death camp learns to do whatever he must to survive. Questions and Topics for Discussion 1. Learn More About Skeletons at the Feast print. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Unbound Worlds Exploring the science fiction and fantasy universe. Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later. Definitely a keeper, this book is very highly recommended.
Cecile never loses hope, though it is often dimmed by outrageous violence. Uri, although painfully cynical for a young man, still has drive for one thing — he wants to tell the world what the Germans have done to the Jews. The Emmerichs march on for each other, even though the family is decimated.
A death just as the family gains hope they will be safe is devastating and feels like a personal loss. That anyone survives the cold, disease, starvation, beatings, fear, anger, hatred and utter blind stupidity is a miracle, but Bohjalian makes it happen. Eloquent in its horrors and heartbreaking in its depictions of love, Skeletons at the Feast deserves all of the accolades it has earned, including a Washington Post Best Book of Bohjalian masterfully presents the desperation of troops who realize their cause is doomed..
Skeletons at the Feast is not a screed on good vs.
I loved this unforgettable novel. Chris Bohjalian handles the context of this story effortlessly and has created characters so engaging that any reader will find themselves connecting with these very real people.. Bohjalian has created a microcosm of that devastating winter of His terse, dry prose renders the most appalling atrocities in an almost stoic manner, doubling the emotional impact.
Readers will feel the despair experienced by the characters but will be able to find the bit of hope that keeps them moving forward.
Bohjalian provides a vivid and well-researched look at the horrors experienced by the characters and presents a more personal account of anguish caused by the events of World War II. From harrowing to inspiring.
War really is hell, the book says, but the human spirit is ultimately salvageable. The power of the narrative will stay with the reader long after it is put down. Inspired by an actual World War II diary the author read, it will stand as one of the best novels ever written about one of the most brutal periods in history.
Recommended for fiction collections. Bohjalian deftly moves from the journey to the back stories of each character, fleshing out their histories and making their choices more poignant as their friendship and interdependence develop. Who will live and who will die? The author keeps up the suspense until the last page, with a surprise twist at the end. From Chris Bohjalian comes a dramatic love story sure to enthrall his millions of readers. In January, , in the waning months of the Second World War, 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.
There is year-old Anna Emmerich, the daughter of Prussian aristocrats who were originally pleased when their massive estate once more become a part of Germany in , but who discovered over the next five years what Nazi management really meant for their rural district.
And there is a year-old Wehrmacht corporal who the pair know as Manfred — but who is, in reality, Uri Singer, a Jew from Germany who managed a daring escape from a train bound for Auschwitz, and who has been sabotaging the Nazi war effort in every way he can ever since. Skeletons at the Feast was inspired by an actual World War Two diary. The fictional character in his novel, Cecile Fournier, owes much to her. To read All But My Life, visit your local bookstore or visit visit www. To learn more about the Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation and the work they do promoting tolerance and respect for others, visit www.
To watch the seven-minute interview about Skeletons at the Feast, click here.
To listen to the nine-minute interiew or download it to your iPod, click here. Chris spoke at Catawba College in North Carolina this week. Chris visited the program, , last month. Click here to watch the six-minute interview. Watch what critics and book groups are saying. Molly Pesce of www. Watch the video here. Please follow Chris for the latest updates. You can also follow Chris on Goodreads.