The Bone Church by Victoria Dougherty
In the surreal and paranoid underworld of wartime Prague, fugitive lovers Felix Andel and Magdalena Ruza make some dubious alliances – with a mysterious Roman Catholic cardinal, a reckless sculptor intent on making a big political statement, and a gypsy with a risky sex life. As one by one their chances for fleeing the country collapse, the two join a plot to assassinate Hitler’s nefarious Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Josef Goebbels.
But the assassination attempt goes wildly wrong, propelling the lovers in separate directions.
Felix’s destiny is sealed at the Bone Church, a mystical pilgrimage site on the outskirts of Prague, while Magdalena is thrust even deeper into the bowels of a city that betrayed her and a homeland soon to be swallowed by the Soviets. As they emerge from the shadowy fog of World War II, and stagger into the foul haze of the Cold War, Felix and Magdalena must confront the past, and a dangerous, uncertain future.
The book follows two timelines where Felix tries to rescue Magdalena from Czechoslovakia, first during WWII in 1943-1944 and then in 1956. Felix is a hockey player star who played for the national team and during the war he gets involved with an attempt to assassinate Joseph Goebbels and years after he goes back to Czechoslovakia looking for Magdalena and her son who were partially Jewish.
I really enjoyed reading this book and there was never a dull moment. There’s assassination attempts, gunshots and lot of other stuff going on. We get to see in what conditions people lived and hide during the war and under the Soviets.
Chapters jump between the years and at times it was really confusing and some of the religion stuff went over my head. The whole The Infant of Prague and some of the more religious things went over my head but good thing that there wasn’t that much about that. Also I hate when books end like this! It hints what happens to the characters but doesn’t really tell anything. I want to know how it will end!
But this was really enjoyable read that read very fast wanting to know what happens next.
Published: Pier’s Court Press (2014)
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
You can check the tour schedule here.
About the author
Victoria Dougherty writes fiction, drama, and essays that often revolve around spies, killers, curses and destinies. Her work has been published or profiled in The New York Times, USA Today, International Herald Tribune and elsewhere. Earlier in her career, while living in Prague, she co-founded Black Box Theater, translating, producing and acting in several Czech plays. She lives with her husband and children in Charlottesville, Virginia.