Author: Carly Schabowski
Publication Date: January 20, 2020
An unforgettable novel of human kindness, inspired by an incredible true story.
Snow falls and a woman prepares for a funeral she has long expected, yet hoped would never come. As she pats her hair and straightens her skirt, she tells herself this isn’t the first time she’s lost someone. Lifting a delicate, battered wristwatch from a little box on her dresser, she presses it to her cheek. Suddenly, she’s lost in memory…
January 1945, Dachau, Germany. As the train rattles through the bright, snowy Bavarian countryside, the still beauty outside the window hides the terrible scenes inside the train, where men and women are packed together, cold and terrified. Jewish watchmaker Isaac Schüller can’t understand how he came to be here, and is certain he won’t be leaving alive.
When the prisoners arrive at Dachau concentration camp, Isaac is unexpectedly pulled from the crowd and installed in the nearby household of Senior Officer Becher and his young, pretty, spoiled wife. With his talent for watchmaking, Isaac can be of use to Becher, but he knows his life is only worth something here as long as Becher needs his skills.
Anna Reznick waits table and washes linens for the Bechers, who dine and socialise and carry on as if they don’t constantly have death all around them. When she meets Isaac she knows she’s found a true friend, and maybe more. But Dachau is a dangerous place where you can never take love for granted, and when Isaac discovers a heartbreaking secret hidden in the depths of Becher’s workshop, it will put Anna and Issac in terrible danger…
A gorgeously emotional and tear-jerking read set during World War Two. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, We Were the Lucky Ones and The Alice Network.
The Watchmaker of Dachau by Carly Schabowski is an emotional World War II novel with multiple points of view.
During January 1945, Isaac, a Jewish watchmaker, was captured and sent to Dachau. Since Isaac brings tools with him, he is chosen to work at Strurmbannfuhrer (Senior Officer) Becher’s house fixing anything that is broken. Anne is a maid for the Bechers. Friedrich is the Becher’s son that just returned from school and is missing his friends. All three are dealing with loneliness. Isaac and Anne are dealing with the daily struggles of Dachau and Friedrich is dealing with parents that don’t care about him. The three of them become friends in this great story told from all of their perspectives.
I really enjoyed The Watchmaker of Dachau. This story is heartbreaking and hard to read at points, but this book is a great read. The Watchmaker of Dachau grabbed my attention from the first page. There were some parts that were so horrifying I had to take a break from reading. The worst part is that what is described in this story actually happened. One of my favorite parts of this book is the characters. All of the characters are hardworking and compassionate. The three main characters become friends. I liked that the story was told from the different viewpoints of the characters especially since they had vastly different experiences. Having the story told from two prisoners and the child of a Nazi was very interesting.
I recommend The Watchmaker of Dachau for historical fiction fans especially fans of World War II novels.
Thank you Bookouture and NetGalley for The Watchmaker of Dachau.
About the Author
Carly Schabowski worked as a journalist in both North Cyprus and Australia before returning to Oxford, where she studied for an MA and then a PhD in creative writing at Oxford Brookes University. Carly now teaches at Oxford Brookes University as an associate lecturer in Creative Writing for first and second-year English literature students.
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