At a time when Eric's biggest concern was meeting his father's high expectations, fitting into his new German life and finding a way to win over the father of the woman he loves are paramount. To accomplish his goal of marrying Brigitte, Eric embraces his German heritage and secures a spot in the prestigious German cavalry. This seems like a sure path to impressing Brigitte's father until rumors of war begin to spread.
The idea of this book, that a young man joins the German military to win over his girlfriend's father, and then is faced with the rise of World War one is filled with potential. Right away readers can imagine the struggles, emotion, and tragedy the characters will face. Once readers start reading, they will find that their imaginings won't be disappointed. Alexander delivers on everything promised. This story is rich with emotion, plot, and deep characters.
The characters are the first thing that will attract readers to this story and keep them from putting it down. Eric is badgered by his father at every turn - something most readers can relate to in one way or another. That connection with Eric deepens as the story progresses. His successes are constantly deemed unworthy by his father while those around him praise his effort. Alexander leads up to Eric's decision to stand on his own very well. Given that this decision is influenced by the wild and beautiful Brigitte makes it all the more intriguing.
Brigitte and Eric's relationship is a center point of this book in plot line, but also in interest. Readers won't be able to help getting wrapped up in their story. When you meet these two it is obvious that they both have room to grow. Throughout the book they face multiple struggles within the relationship, and also from the circumstances of the conflict overtaking the world. Brigitte and Eric also face personal trials when it comes family problems and personal loss. The emotion that runs through this story is deep and real. I felt very connected to these characters and truly cared about them as I followed their story.
The historical aspect of this book was very well done. Alexander obviously did her research and took the time to build a realistic setting and storyline. Even though I am far from being called a history buff, I felt at home in World War 1 era Europe. Unfamiliar aspects of the culture and locations were explained without making it into a history lesson. Alexander gave just enough background of the time period and the politics going on to make it real.
There were really only a few small items that gave me a little trouble. At times, especially in the early chapters, the descriptions of certain rooms or places was a bit heavy. I felt it slowed the story down in some places. There were also some sexual elements, that while not overly graphic, would be inappropriate for younger readers.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. It was a well developed story with fascinating characters and plenty of emotional turmoil.
Who would I recommend this book to? Mainly adults readers, but I wouldn't tie it down to one particular genre group. Historical readers in general will like this book. Of course, those interested in WW1 will fall right into the story, but also, those readers looking for a good dramatic story, or a romance that is meaningful and strong will love this book as well.
The Officer's Code is available now from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle, and Barnes and Noble.
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