It’s been a while but I’m back for one day only. Although I don’t share reviews on my blog, I continue to post my reviews on Instagram and Goodreads but after reading The Gathering Storm by Alan Jones, I knew I just had to share my review far and wide as this book blew me away. It’s a book that deserves to be shouted about.
Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.
‘Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.
The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.
As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.
The Nussbaums are Jews.
The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.
When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.
As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.’
The Gathering Storm is just over 800 pages long, but don’t let that put you off, it’s historical fiction at its best. It’s such an incredible piece of writing, with such a powerful plot you just fly through the pages. This is the first book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy, which follows two families living in Germany. The Kästners, a prominent Military family, and their domestic Jewish staff the Nussbaums.
The Gathering Storm explores the years leading up to WW2, a time of uncertainty as Hitler and his party rise to power. As the persecution of Jews grows, the storm gathers momentum and the two families lives will change for ever. The Nussbaums, like millions of Jews face uncertainty, fear, and hatred of the worse kind. The Kästners once a close family are divided by their opposing views on the policies and laws implemented by Nazi Germany and the extermination of those seen to be Untermenschen (“sub-humans”)
The attention to detail in this book is incredible it’s obvious the author has thoroughly researched his subject, leaving no stone unturned, rich in detail Alan Jones brings one of the darkest periods of history to life. The characters are exceptional well developed, complex, fully rounded, and lifelike, you become invested in their story as you follow their harrowing journey. This isn’t a light read by any means and nor should it be as it’s based on historical facts that at times seem incomprehensible. It’s a story that’s tragic, desperately sad in parts, but there are bittersweet moments filled with hope and joy.
It was interesting to read The Gathering Storm from both families perspective, as they both faced very different challenges, hardships and heartache. I liked the fact that story begins in the lead up to the Second World War, so the reader feels part of both families journey from the very beginning. It was horrifying to read about the gradual erosion of the Jews rights, and the propaganda the Nazi’s spread like poison. This book was such an incredible, outstanding read, the character’s, the attention to detail, a powerful storyline, it’s definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time to come. The Gathering Storm has to be one of my top reads this year, and I can’t wait to read the next two books in the series. Highly recommended.
I have even brought back my book hangover award! I have read some fabulous books this year, but very few have left me thinking about them long after I have finished them, so yes I’m giving The Gathering Storm my shiny Book hangover award. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.
About the author
Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published from August to December 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.
He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren. He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the coxswains on the local RNLI lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht, cruising in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.
His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.
He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at the Bloody Scotland crime fiction festival in Stirling and has done two pop-up book launches at previous festivals.
He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.
To find out more, please visit https://www.alanjonesbooks.co.uk/
You can buy a copy following the link below (please note this link is not affiliated)