Monday, January 11, 2021

Review Tour + #Giveaway: A Lightness in My Soul by Annette Oppenlander @AOppenlander @GoddessFish


A Lightness in My Soul

by Annette Oppenlander

GENRE: Historical Biographical


Inspired by the incredible true story of a German teen taken prisoner at the end of WWII, determined to survive and to reunite with his mother - A Lightness in My Soul is a tribute to the triumph of hope and redemption against all odds.

Germany, October 2019: In a car repair shop an elderly man waits next to a woman. They begin to talk about the Great War, when he was just a teen. He tells her a story, one he has never shared—his own.

Bavaria, April 1945: For the last two years, fifteen-year old Arthur and his classmates have lived in a youth camp. Far from home and allied bombs they spend their days with lessons, hikes, play fights and helping local farmers harvest ever decreasing crops. They have been told that the war will be over soon and that they’ll return home to a victorious Germany.

When the U.S. Army marches into camp, they are arrested and taken to the just liberated Dachau concentration camp. Everything they ever believed turns out to be false. They were lied to… not only has Germany lost the war, what they find is monstrous. But being a prisoner is only the beginning of their ordeal…


It isn’t safe, Arthur.” The muscles on Wagner’s neck tightened as he stared off into the distance, yet his gaze seemed to go inward as if he wanted to hide.

That’s what you said last Christmas.”

Usually, Wagner would’ve snapped back something, but today he remained strangely calm. “Believe me,” he said, his focus returning to us, “I’d like to go home as well, but we must wait.”

If we’re winning the war, why isn’t it safe?” asked Emil, who had a sharp mouth on him when he wanted to. Two years ago he’d moved into the neighborhood with his grandmother and joined my high school class. You know how you meet somebody and instantly like him? You don’t know why, just that you’re comfortable and somehow connected. That’s how it was when Emil showed up. Even if he was crazy superstitious and constantly made predictions, which luckily for the most part didn’t come true.

Wagner seemed to search for the right words. “We’ve got to be patient.”

I wish we could fight them,” Udo announced. “Why are we doing all this training, if we never use it?”

I wasn’t so sure I wanted to have anything to do with fighting battles. It was one thing to play fight with sticks, another to face American or Russian tanks.

You may get your wish,” said our teacher. Once again his gaze wandered off, once again I had the impression he wanted to say more, but kept his thoughts to himself.

Two days later he was gone.

My Review:

A Lightness in My Soul tells the story of fifteen-year-old Arthur and his classmates who spent two years in a youth camp during WWII in Germany. They spent their time studying their lessons and learning how to fight in the war. The boys were hoping to one day have the opportunity to fight in the war themselves.

When the war was over the U.S. Army came in and took over the camp where the boys were staying. The boys were arrested and taken away to the Dachau concentration camp where they spent their days taking care of the sick. The boys learned that they had been lied to in more ways than one. The truth was being revealed to them right before their eyes through each and every day they spent with the sick and dying.

They were told to take care of these people but they were never enough supplies of any kind to aid them. There was never enough food for themselves much less the sick and dying people. As the truth was revealed friends were made.

A Lightness in My Soul was so well written that it pulled me in from the beginning and never let go. Each and every scene was so well described making it so easy for me to picture it in my head. I could easily see the boys as they were taking care of their patients in a room full of beds all lined up side by side with a sick and dying person in each one. I could almost smell what they were smelling as they crossed the threshold and entered the room. Each scene was so vividly written I could easily see myself there in that room.

A Lightness in My Soul is one of those stories that will touch you deeply. One that you will not come away from without some form of scarring. A Lightness in My Soul is based on a true story told by an elderly gentleman to a friend he met for the first time and then the friend tells her friend, the author of Arthur’s story. It does the soul good to hear a story from the other side.

As with all of Annette Oppenlander’s books I highly recommend A Lightness in My Soul to one and all! One-click your copy of A Lightness in My Soul to begin this epic journey today! And be sure to check out all of her other books as well!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past. 

Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, received multiple nominations/awards. The recently translated German version received the silver Skoutz Award 2020. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story.

Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries, festivals and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband.


2017 National Indie Excellence Award

2017 Winner Chill with a Book Readers’ Award

2017 Kindle Book Awards Finalist

2017 Discovered Diamond Historical Novel

2018 Indie B.R.A.G. Award

2018 Readers’ Favorite Book Award—Bronze

2019 Global eBook Award—Gold

2020 Skoutz Award—Silver

IWIC Hall of Fame Novel


Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Blog ~ Amazon ~ Email

Buy Links

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Apple iBooks


$20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Annette Oppenlander said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today! I'll be around if anybody has questions. All the best, Annette

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

Sherry said...

Looks like a book I would love.

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