Leningrad, Book 1
Leningrad, 1941. As Europe crumbles under the German war machine, the people of the Soviet Union watch. There are whispers of war but not loud enough for the civilians of Lenin-grad to notice. Instead, they keep their heads down and try to avoid the ever-watching eyes of their own oppressive government.
University student Tatiana Ivankova tries to look ahead to the future after a family tragedy that characterizes life under the brutal regime. But, when the rumors that have been circulating the country become a terrifying reality, Tatiana realizes that the greatest fear may not be the enemy but what her fellow citizens are prepared to do to each other to survive.
As his men plow through the Russian countryside, Heinrich Nottebohm is told to follow orders and ask no questions, even if such commands go against his own principles. His superiors hold over him a past event that continues to destroy him with every day that passes. But, when given the opportunity to take an act of defiance, Heinrich will jump at the chance, ignoring what the end results could be.
Leningrad: The People’s War tells the harrowing beginning of a war that forever changed the landscape of a city, told through the eyes of both sides in a tale of courage, love, and sacrifice.
“We are particularly concerned about Tikhvin.” A quiet officer with glasses pointed to the tiny town two hundred kilometers away from the city. “It’s the only place still holding out, though I can’t imagine for much longer.”
“The town is our last link to the railroad. If we lose it, the city will have no way to reach the outside world.” Zhdanov’s voice was solemn. The whole world seemed to be resting on his shoulders.
“Given the current social situation, it would be catastrophic,” the quiet officer mumbled.
Josef finally stood up straight. “What do you mean?”
The officer looked regretful he had said a word, but Zhdanov nodded at him to elaborate. “We’ve been getting reports of widespread hunger.”
Ekaterina dismissed it. “That’s nothing new.”
The officer motioned for an adjutant near the door to come forward. The adjutant handed him a folder. “This is testimony made by a woman who was arrested by the police for stealing another woman’s rations. ‘The first day or two or three are the worst. On most days, I only had access to a slice of bread. I suffered from terrible hunger pangs on the first day. Then the second. Gradually, the pain fades into quiet despondency, a gloom that seems to have no need, a weakness that is advancing at a frighteningly rapid pace. What I could do the day before I could not do the next. I find myself surrounded by obstacles too difficult to overcome. The stairs in my home have become too steep to climb. The wood is impossible to chop and the shelf is much too high to reach. I can no longer clean the toilet. Each day I find myself growing weaker, though my awareness has not declined. I can see myself from a distance. I know what is happening to me, but there’s nothing I can do to halt it. My body is changing. My legs are like toothpicks, my arms are vanishing, and my breasts are becoming empty bags. My skirts fall from my hips and trousers won’t stay up. I’ve suddenly noticed strange bones are appearing. This doesn’t happen to everyone. My friend, who is as hungry as I am, has puffed up. She can no longer put her shoes on and needs assistance. Her cheeks look as they are about to burst, and her neck is too thick for her collar. I have no strength. I am wasting away. So is Leningrad.’”
The room was still. After a few minutes, Josef bristled. “She’s one person. Doesn’t justify her stealing.”
Tatiana looked him dead in the eyes. “She’s dying, Josef. A horrible, drawn-out death.”
“Civilians always suffer.” Ekaterina seemed equally unconcerned. “There’s nothing that can be done. Besides, I don’t see people dying on the streets.”
“I have,” Tatiana muttered.
About the Author
Rachel R. Heil is a historical fiction writer who always dreamed of being an author. After years of dreaming, she finally decided to turn this dream into a reality with her first novel, and series, Behind the Darkened Glass. Rachel is an avid history fan, primarily focused on twentieth century history and particularly World War Two-era events. In addition to her love for history, Rachel loves following the British Royal Family and traveling the world, which only opens the door to learning more about a country’s history. Rachel resides in Wisconsin.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-R-Heil/e/B07MY8DZT8
This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited.
Universal Link: mybook.to/LeningradWar
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The Coffee Pot Book Club
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