UK Publishing Date: 4 Feb 2016. 400 pages.
It is always interesting when you find a book that takes you completely by surprise. While this is a historical novel set in 1945 during World War Two it is so much more. A group of people are traveling across the country to reach the refugee ship that will take them away from the war, to safety. Although you get the stories from many of the refugees the primary characters are Joana, Florian and Emilia. Most of the characters are sweet and wonderful people with tragic and interesting backgrounds.
The book is fast paced with short chapters and you’ll find yourself speed reading through it because its so easy to just want to read one more chapter whenever you need to put it down. Although this is a historical novel it is easy to compare this with the current exodus of Syrian refugees across Europe and the numbers of them that perish en route to safety in the dangerous sea crossings.
I hadn’t heard of the Wilhelm Gustloff sinking before and will confess to having to google it and discover just how bad a tragedy this actually was. Recommend you finish the book first before you do this but it does give a story a more poignant feel. A beautiful story that will stay with you for a long time.
Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.