The Watchmaker of Dachau
An absolutely heartbreaking World War 2 historical novel
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.
What readers are saying about The Watchmaker of Dachau:
‘Beautiful and heartbreaking… pulls at the heartstrings… breathtaking in its beauty… Nothing I can say in my review can possibly do the justice this book deserves. I can only say to grab yourself a copy and experience it for yourself. A definite 5 star read.’ Confessions of a Bookaholic, 5 stars
‘Affecting, heart-breaking and powerful tale… haunting, atmospheric and intensely dramatic tale that will shock, devastate, enthral and captivate readers… a superb novel I won’t forget in a hurry.’ Bookish Jottings
‘A book that put me through the emotional wringer… a beautiful and emotional read, a powerful story that begs to be read… so thought-provoking that it lingers after you have put it down.’ Sharon Beyond the Books
‘I haven't read anything as touching or heartfelt as The Watchmaker of Dachau in years… incredible… made me smile & shed happy tears.’ @bookworm.britt
‘Powerful… an epic, moving story… a must-read. You’ll find yourself grabbing tissues in this atmospheric tearjerker and wishing the last page was chapters and chapters away. I devoured it in one sitting… a masterful painter of words!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Beautiful… captivating and hopeful yet tragic and devastating. It hooks you from the very first page… putting it down is something you won’t be able to do… highly recommend.’ @toreadistobreathe, 5 stars
‘I need to dry my eyes now after reading this book… a deeply profound book that was deeply moving… one I will not forget.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Amazingly stunning… a real tearful read… so vividly rendered… one story that I will never forget… took my breath away.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
A different side of WWII imprisonments
This novel is told during WWII. Issac is chosen once he arrives at a camp to fix things for the camp leader, at the leaders house. He fixes watches, trains, and anything else he is asked to. Anna is also chosen as a maid in the leaders house.
This story is very different than other WWII books about the concentration camps because the story is focused on Issac and Anna as they work in the leaders house. We get a glimpse into the camp as Issac and Anna sleep there but we mostly hear about their work outside of camp.
I liked the different point of view as each person’s life during this time was different but also felt the story was missing some of the elements of WWII and you could almost forget it was set in WWII at times.
My favorite character was Frederic, the leaders son. He is a young boy and does not truly understand what is happening around him. He is not very loved by his parents and has been told that Jews are bad but he does not believe this. His acts of kindness throughout the book are heartwarming to read.
I enjoyed this book and the different point of views. It is not a traditional WWII concentration camp story.
Quite an emotional story. The ending was unexpected.