My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.
From a young military officer torn between his duty to his country and his duty as an artist to save priceless art from the coming devastation, to a German sailor suffering from delusions of grandeur, to a Polish girl, pregnant with a Russian child that was forced upon her, to the strong nurse whose blood lineage was just good enough to assure her passage on a ship, all the characters have reason to trust - and to fear - one another.
Their paths converge en route to the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship whose sinking killed nearly 10,000 people - the largest sea disaster in history - yet somehow remains mostly unknown.