“We leave, Axel. We must leave all this. I don’t know when or how but we must. Come with me, Axel.”
So begins Rhoda Lerman’s much anticipated seventh novel, an elegantly written, powerful story about one family’s flight from Germany to the wilds of Amazonia. World War II is nearing its conclusion and Dietrich, the Baron von Pappendorf, must save his wife and child from the fall of Hitler’s regime. In the jungles of Brazil, Dietrich and his fellow Nazi fugitives lay the foundation for the next—better, stronger—Reich. Caught in the middle is the Baron’s young son Axel, whose fascination with the Jewish nurse Luba grows stronger every day.
Profiled at length in Phyllis Rose’s recent literary memoir The Shelf, Lerman is beloved as “a writers’ writer,” and with The Fourth Reich she has put her talents to work as never before. With elegant prose and hauntingly vivid scenes, The Fourth Reich is at once a gripping historical novel, a jungle fantasy, and a parable of the sins of the father and their inescapable effects on the son.