Author: Sarah Cohen-Scali
First published January 1, 2012
473 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9782070643899 (ISBN10: 2070643891)
“April 19th, 1936. Soon it will be midnight.
In exactly one minute, I will come into this world. I will be born on April 20th, the anniversary of our Führer.
I will be blessed by the Germanic gods and seen as the first-born of the supreme race. The Aryan race.
The one that will now reign supreme over the world. I am the child of the future.
Conceived without love. Without God.
Without law. Without anything but strength and rage.
I will bite instead of suckling. I will scream instead of cooing.
I will hate instead of love. Heil Hitler!”
Max is the perfect prototype of the “Lebensborn” program initiated by Himmler. Women selected by the Nazis give birth to pure representatives of the Aryan race, the ideal youth destined to regenerate Germany and then the occupied Europe by the Reich.
A fascinating and disturbing historical fable that you can’t put down. A shockingly well-researched read that leaves you forever changed.
Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali is a thought-provoking and powerful novel that explores the horrors of Nazi Germany through the eyes of a young boy named Max. Originally published in French in 2012 and translated into English by Penny Hueston, this historical fiction novel is a must-read for anyone interested in World War II and the Holocaust.
Sarah Cohen-Scali is a French author who has written several books for young adults. Max was her first novel to be translated into English, and it has received critical acclaim for its stunning portrayal of a dark period in history.
Through her writing, Cohen-Scali manages to bring to life the atrocities of the Nazi regime and the impact it had on innocent lives.
The novel is set in Nazi Germany and follows the life of Max, a young boy who is born as part of the Lebensborn program. The program was established by the Nazis to create a “master race” by breeding genetically superior children.
Max is raised with the belief that he is special, but as he grows older, he begins to realize the true horrors of the world he lives in.
Cohen-Scali’s writing is captivating and immersive, drawing the reader into Max’s world from the very first page. Her attention to detail is impeccable, and she manages to create a vivid and realistic portrayal of life in Nazi Germany.
The characters are complex and well-developed, each with their own unique struggles and motivations.
The themes of the novel are powerful and thought-provoking, exploring the themes of identity, belonging, and the consequences of blind obedience. Cohen-Scali does an excellent job of highlighting the complexities of the human experience, and the impact that political ideologies can have on people’s lives.
One of the strengths of the novel is its historical accuracy. Cohen-Scali has clearly done her research, and the novel is filled with accurate details about life in Nazi Germany.
This attention to detail adds an extra layer of depth to the novel, making it feel more authentic and immersive.
However, there are some weaknesses to the novel. The pacing can be slow at times, and some readers may find it difficult to get through the more detailed sections.
Additionally, the ending feels rushed and could have been better developed.
Despite these minor flaws, Max is a must-read for anyone interested in World War II and the Holocaust. The novel is a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of a dark period in history, and Cohen-Scali’s writing is captivating and immersive.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a powerful and impactful read.
Rating: 4/5 stars.