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Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene Review

Title: Vienna Prelude

Author: Bodie Thoene

First published May 1, 1989

461 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9781414301075 (ISBN10: 1414301073)

Rating: 4.26


Set in pre-World War II Austria, Vienna Prelude follows the journey of Elisa Lindheim, a talented violinist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra who must hide her Jewish heritage under an Aryan stage name to continue playing in Germany. As the political tensions rise and the looming threat of the Holocaust becomes a reality, Elisa’s dear friends Leah and Shimon must flee Austria to avoid persecution.

Meanwhile, John Murphy, a reporter for the New York Times, becomes involved in a plan to overthrow Hitler and finds himself entangled with Elisa and the Jewish Underground. Together they navigate a dangerous web of intrigue and conspiracy, risking everything to fight for what they believe in.

About the Author

Did you know that Bodie and Brock Thoene, pronounced Tay-nee, are the authors of over 45 works of historical fiction? They’ve sold more than 10 million copies of their best sellers and have even won eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards.

Bodie started her writing career as a teen journalist for her local newspaper and eventually made her way to writing for prestigious periodicals like U.S. News and World Report, The American West, and The Saturday Evening Post. She’s also worked for John Wayne’s Batjac Productions and ABC Circle Films as a writer and researcher.

John Wayne himself praised her writing talent, saying she had a gift for capturing people and times. She has degrees in journalism and communications.

Bodie and Brock have four grown children, Rachel, Jake, Luke, and Ellie, and five grandchildren. Jake and Luke are carrying on the Thoene family gift as the next generation of writers, with Luke producing the Thoene audiobooks.

The Thoenes split their time between London and Nevada, where they continue to write and inspire readers with their captivating historical fiction.

Editoral Review

Vienna Prelude, written by Bodie Thoene, is a captivating historical fiction novel set in the tumultuous years leading up to World War II. First published in 1989, the book transports readers to Vienna, Austria, during a time of political upheaval, social unrest, and rising anti-Semitism.

Thoene is an accomplished author and co-writer, having written over 70 books alongside her husband, Brock Thoene. She is best known for her works of historical fiction, many of which focus on the Holocaust and Jewish history.

Vienna Prelude tells the story of Elisa Lindheim, a talented violinist from a wealthy Jewish family who must navigate the treacherous terrain of pre-war Vienna. Through Elisa’s eyes, readers are introduced to a cast of compelling characters, including her dashing Christian love interest, Johann, and her best friend, Leah, who is forced to flee to Palestine.

The novel is rich in historical and cultural significance, shedding light on the complexities of life in pre-war Austria. Thoene masterfully captures the mood and atmosphere of the times, portraying the fear, uncertainty, and despair felt by many Jewish families as the threat of Nazi occupation loomed.

What sets Vienna Prelude apart from other historical fiction novels is Thoene’s ability to weave together a complex and nuanced plot with engaging characters and beautiful prose. The book is a masterful example of narrative storytelling, with plot twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

One of the strengths of Vienna Prelude is Thoene’s portrayal of the struggles and triumphs of the Jewish community in Vienna. The characters are multidimensional and relatable, and their experiences are grounded in historical fact.

The pacing of the novel is also excellent, with the plot unfolding at just the right speed to keep readers engaged. However, there are a few weaknesses to Vienna Prelude that are worth mentioning.

Some readers may find the book’s religious themes to be heavy-handed or preachy, and the romance between Elisa and Johann may come across as a bit contrived. Despite these minor flaws, Vienna Prelude is an excellent read for anyone interested in historical fiction or Jewish history.

Thoene’s beautiful writing, engaging characters, and historical accuracy make this book a standout in its genre. Overall, I would recommend Vienna Prelude to anyone looking for an engaging, well-written novel about life in pre-war Austria.

This book will appeal to readers of all ages and backgrounds, and its themes of love, sacrifice, and perseverance in the face of adversity are timeless. I rate Vienna Prelude a solid 4 out of 5 stars.