"THE ROAD TO FREEDOM," by Shawn Pollock, Cedar Fort, $15.99, 224 pages (f)
Captain Christoph Meier, the protagonist of "The Road to Freedom," has seen too much. As an officer in the German army during World War II, he loves his country but feels powerless to save Germany from the atrocities of the Nazi regime. His family cut him off for joining the army instead of the Nazi SS, and his sweetheart was killed in the bombing of Dresden.
Hope and happiness seem too much to ask — all he wants is to do his duty, protect his men and survive.
But even surviving may be too much to ask. After his unit is attacked, Meier finds himself alone behind enemy lines with a young private, Hans Kohler, as his only ally. Detection by either the savage Russian army or their own German army will mean execution. Their only hope is to reach the Elbe River, where the American forces are accepting surrendering German soldiers.
Hans, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believes God will protect them, but Meier has seen too many atrocities to believe in God. And yet, Hans' prayers are being answered, and Meier and Hans keep escaping death. There may be more to Hans and his Mormon religion than Meier thought.
The novel depicts war violence and consequences throughout in accurate, but general terms, and has no profanity or sexual content.
Author Shawn Pollock is a Utah native, a Utah State University alumnus, and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Road to Freedom" is his first novel.
Rachel Chipman reads fewer books than she would like, but her preferred reading pace might not leave time for much else. You can reach her at [email protected]