Alan Hlad’s new historical novel is ‘A Light Beyond the Trenches’

Akron author Alan Hlad’s two previous historical novels were set during World War II. The third, “A Light Beyond the Trenches,” steps back further in time, to World War I, and also makes the unusual choice for the protagonists to be German, the enemies of the Allied powers.

That’s because it’s based on a true story.

Anna Zeller, daughter of a widowed clockmaker, is working as a nurse in a military hospital in Oldenberg and is the first to admit she’s not very good at it. One day she eats a quick lunch in the hospital garden and sees a doctor walking with a patient who had been blinded in battle, accompanied by his pet German shepherd. The doctor receives an urgent call and leaves the dog with the patient; Anna witnesses the dog instinctively guiding the patient around obstacles on the path.

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