The Scent of a Storm


Eastern Prussia, 1944. Annie is trying to live her life as far apart from the devastating events of the day as she possibly can. Everywhere she turns all people do is talk about the war and the horrors it carries; however, she trusts her mother’s judgment, for now, and concentrates on the love of her life, Werner. But it isn’t long until war gets to them. Werner has to join the military, and they have to abandon their home if they want to live. Annie is carrying Werner’s child (though he doesn’t know it), and she and her family run for their lives experiencing the destruction the war has left in their country. On the other hand, Werner finds himself living as a soldier, a life he never wanted but which he has to suffer. Now he must decide if he will defend his long-lost country, or if he will do everything he can to return to his loved ones.

With “The Scent of a Storm,” Oppenlander tells an overwhelming story about two youngsters who are directly involved in WWII, and all its horrors. Although it is not a non-fiction testimony, the author creates two amazing characters whose travails harshly depict the German situation during the final years of the war. Annie and Werner show us two different sides of the story, making us feel as if we are alongside them, living their struggles and experiencing and their frustrations. The novel catches readers from the very beginning with a thrilling story that will leave them wanting to know how the characters will endure all their suffering, thinking only about each other and their families.

Anthony Cabonell