Under the Twisted Cross by Margaret M. Barnhart
Working from some military forms, reports, questionnaires, and few pages of hand written notes, coupled with her recollections of family stories, Margaret Barnhart has woven a novel about a German-speaking prisoner-of-war, as her father was, during the closing years of World War II in Europe. Although working from factual materials, the author writes detailed fiction woven around those facts and not a biographical record of her father’s actual experience. The outline of major events in the novel, including the death march of prisoners to the Western Front, is historically accurate; however, the several memorable secondary characters and details and complications of the plot line of the novel are creations of the author’s imagination.
While the novel does depict some of the brutalities of war and imprisonment and not all of the characters survive the events depicted, the level of detail and style of language makes this acceptable reading for young adults, especially those who wish to learn some elements of personal experience during World War II.
250 pages of well-written, good reading.