I've read a couple other books by Chris Bohjalian and liked them so thought I'd give this one a try. It's a departure for him from his more modern settings. This one traces the plight of four different characters as they try to escape the onslaught of the Russians at the end of WWII.
Anna Emmerich is 18 when she and her family must abandon their beautiful estate to head west to stay ahead of the Russians.
With them is Callum Finella, a Scottish POW who had been sent to help on their farm. They hide him in their wagon. He's also Anna'a lover.
Uri Singer and his family were rounded up by the Germans and shipped like cattle to concentration camps. On the train, Uri sees an opportunity to escape and takes it. He survives by killing Germans and then impersonating them. Now, he, too, is fleeing west from the Russians.
Cecile is a French girl trying to survive in a concentration camp with only her positive attitude and hope to help her. As the Russians near the camp, the guards are ordered to burn it and force the women to march westward.
It's a harrowing book. It's a horrible book. It's a novel but is based on an actual diary so the atrocious incidents are believable. I couldn't put it down!