This historical fiction account of the Dreyfus Trial is a winner on several fronts. The writing is impeccable, the story compelling, and the attention to detail is phenomenal.
I am a fan of Emile Zola, but for some reason was not aware of this pivotal moment in his life. I now respect him even more as a person and a writer. He put his reputation, career, and life on the line to defend a wrongly accused Jewish soldier. This is quite an impressive action because he could have sat back and lived a safe life. But that is not the character of this amazing writer. Emile Zola said, “If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.”
Author Paulette Mahurin cleverly sets up each chapter with a quote from the great writer. It sets the scene for what is to follow. I will be recommending this book to my friends. It was a delight to read.
In this meticulously researched novel the fiction is masterfully blended with the real facts, and the ugly accounts of anti-Semitism and chauvinistic behavior of the military and even the court are depicted with honesty, shining a light on the true heroism of several brave men, who weren’t afraid to fight against the regime in the name of truth. I couldn’t help but admire Zola’s relentless pursuit of justice, even though it meant putting his own freedom and even his life in danger. It’s a must-read for everyone! Highly recommended!