Crafted with compassion and balance by Jennifer Gaskill Miller, ‘Beneath the Universe’ invites readers to climb inside the mind of an SS officer whose ability to commit unfathomable acts of evil is as equal as his ability to love. In a thought-provoking narrative that straddles fact and fiction, Gaskill Miller explores the definitions of truth, duty, sacrifice and sin, while questioning just how rational beings can commit history’s mindless acts of horror.
Spokane, WA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/28/2014 -- Books about WWII have become something a literary staple, with almost all branding the Nazis as evil, murderous and often worthless bad guys. In her ground-breaking new novel, Jennifer Gaskill Miller in no way justifies the acts of SS officers, but does compel readers to explore if there is any rational dispute for the Nazis’ image in world history.
‘Beneath the Universe’ attempts to take a holistic look at the people who would gas Jews without a thought, and then go home to be a friend, father and lover.
Beneath the Universe is a story of an SS officer, Blaz, raised to hate and love in the same soul. Through its chapters, readers may climb into the mind of his youth and the frustration of his adulthood.
But his is not the only tale to tell. His neglected daughter, taught that by race she is perfection but by gender she will never be enough, battles her own demons while trying to live in her father’s world.
Blaz has never believed in his right to make his own choices. His life is one of tragedy, but order and control. Even the frightening answers are clear. But all that is about to change. The son he has long suffered for is finally born but the infant is . . . different. Beneath the Universe is a story that asks what is duty? What is strength? Most importantly, it begs the question: when do sacrifices become sins?
“The narrative weighs up the bone-sweating dilemma of if SS offers were innately evil, or if they were just doing a job and performing a duty,” explains Gaskill Miller. “Movies present them as two-dimensional villains; monstrous scraps of dirt who are passionately hell-bent about tearing the lives of others apart. They don’t show them going home to their families and existing like everyone else. As the author, I’m not injecting my opinion into this debate; I’ll leave that up to my readers.”
Continuing, “Ultimately, the book was written to offer hope that societal ignorance can be overcome. Next year marks seventy-years since many of the Nazi death camps were liberated, yet evil of equal measure is still rampant in our present-day world. I want people to face the questions about how rational beings can be a part of this mandate. It’s not an easy read, but a vitally important one.”
Readers have approached the book with the maturity and brevity the author intended, leaving a string of positive reviews. K.A. Rajewski comments, “It is always difficult to read about atrocities committed against the innocent. In Beneath the Universe, the author carefully balances good vs. evil. Culture and morals are tested throughout and it all plays into a very unexpected ending!”
Jess Rudd adds, “A great story! Opens the mind to another side of the atrocities of WWII. I could feel and smell the camp by the detailed descriptions. This author has a great talent.”
Katherine Weber sees the work as artistic, writing, “Amazing work of art! She drew me in and held me captive, I just couldn't put it down! The author sheds light on the inner turmoil and struggles of Blaz, a SS officer. A beautiful blend of history and modern thought. A wonderfully written and captivating read! I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read the authors next work of art :)”
‘Beneath the Universe’ is available now for Kindle and Nook: http://amzn.to/1tsyKtA and http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beneath-the-universe-jennifer-miller/1120607270?ean=2940150466616
About Jennifer Gaskill Miller
Jennifer Gaskill Miller currently resides in Washington state with her husband and two children. This is her debut novel.