The Scent of a Storm

A World War II Story about Love, Courage and Survival

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
308 Pages
Reviewed on 09/14/2021
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

The Scent of a Storm: A World War II Story about Love, Courage, and Survival by Annette Oppenlander is a heartfelt tale of two love-crazed teenagers torn apart by the vagaries of war as Soviet soldiers pushed westward to Berlin through what was then East Prussia in the dying days of World War II. For Annie, now living with her daughter Emma in East Berlin under its repressive communist rule, 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall would prove to be a momentous time in many ways. A chance sighting on the television of a journalist whom she firmly believed to be her lover from years ago sends her into a recollection of those far-gone days. She and Werner had been lovers and she was left pregnant and all alone after Werner was sent by the Reich to dig trenches designed to halt the relentless advance of Soviet tanks into Prussia. As Annie and Werner revisit their early days and their struggles for survival as they both separately tried to flee the oncoming Soviet army, both are consumed with the possibility that their long-lost love may still flicker in each of their hearts. For Emma, though, it might be a chance to meet and finally get to know the father she had never known all these years.

The Scent of a Storm is a beautiful story that perfectly captures the helplessness felt by ordinary people when their leaders have taken them into a war they didn’t really understand and certainly, by the end, no longer believed in. To the victors go the spoils, as the saying goes, and for the millions of people displaced from Prussia at the end of the war, life was indeed tragic and brutal; for many of them, terminal. Author Annette Oppenlander has captured the essence of defeat and the struggle for survival for the people who wanted nothing more than to just go home – to a home, though, that no longer existed. She conveys the utter hopelessness of the vicious winter of 1944-45, as so many died on the long, cold march westward seeking sanctuary and just somewhere to call home. One can really feel the anguish, especially of the young people who were thrust into a situation not of their making, over which they had no control, and yet they were expected to fight against impossible odds to defend their homeland. What I particularly liked was that both Werner and Annie, despite their suffering, did grasp that what was happening to them was, in some way, understandable righteous retribution for the atrocities their own people had committed on the Soviets and others in the preceding five-plus years. This is a fantastic read that is impossible to put down and will steal the hearts of all true romantics, as well as historical fiction buffs. I can highly recommend this book.