"Point of No Return" by Martha Gellhorn was written in 1948. Gellhorn was a war correspondent and journalist. John Smithers commanded a fatigued, fearful battalion. Lt. Col Smithers, driven by Levy, was able to take liberty in the quiet city of Luxembourg. Jacob Levy, told what time to return to the Officer's Club, was given free rein to explore the city. "Point of No Return" expresses the inner turmoil felt by soldiers, nurses, and citizens in wartime Europe during the closing months of World War II.
When I agreed to review Point of No Return by Martha Gellhorn for the publisher of the new digital edition, I knew nothing of the author. Gellhorn wrote Point of No Return soon after WWII.
*** (view spoiler) Those who follow my blog are probably already aware of the fact that I enjoy reading historical fiction and have a special interest in stories set during or around WWII. The story is without doubt well written and well researched, although it did read a bit slow and I personally thought there would be more focus on the concentration camps... As a soldier during the last months of WWII, Jacob lives through the Battle of the Bulge and the discovery of Nazi concentration camps. After reading the blurb of Point Of No Return, I honestly thought the discovery of the concentration camps and its impact would have played a bigger role in the story.
I'd like to give a quick shout-out to Open Road, the publisher that through Net Galley continues to invite me to read and review no matter how many times I publish a one or two star review of one of their titles with a rant as review. This exceptionally strong World War II story was a New York Times best seller when it was first published in 1948. I had sworn off Holocaust stories, telling myself that I already know about it; I no longer have students to whom to impart the information; from now on, I will only read what I want to read. People die; nobody can write about World War II accurately without imparting the fear, the grief, and the alienation that its participants and witnesses endured. So I recommend this book to those that love first rate historical fiction; that like to read about the European theater of World War II; or that like a good romance.
The book was initially published in 1948 under a different title, republished in 1988 under the title the author wanted, and now the digital version released in 2016. I think some background for the author is important for this book. Specifically, because I think many people who read books like this would question a female author. This book has 3 distinct acts. But the 3rd act which involves Dachau, the reason Gellhorn wrote this book, is fully fleshed out and disturbing. It's a 4 star book, brought up because of the last act.
One part of this story is the typical war romance with a handsome and naïve protagonist and non-English speaking woman and the other part is a serious Holocaust novel with the horrors of Dachau and the realities of war. The novel includes an afterword where Martha Gellhorn tells us her own experiences as a war correspondent that went to Dachau soon after the Americans discovered its existence.
I have read many account of World War 2, but this gave an interesting view of what the soldiers on the ground were doing, and what they were thinking.
Point of No Return by Martha Gelhorn Book review for Net Galley NetGalley Description: A US soldier confronts the horrors of the Holocaust in this New York Timesbestselling novel from acclaimed WWII correspondent Martha Gellhorn. As a soldier in the last months of World War II, Jacob lives through the Battle of the Bulge and the discovery of Nazi concentration camps. One of the first female war correspondents of the twentieth century, Martha Gellhorn visited Dachau a week after its discovery by American soldiers.