So… I like WWII historical fiction, and the premise of a sister searching for her brother after the war seemed like an intriguing premise. But this one didn’t quite work for me in a lot of ways. The writing was beautiful, the reality of surviving the Holocaust was intense, and the historical accuracies were all pluses. But, I hate to say, I wasn’t a fan of the main character, Zofia. She is single-minded, abrupt, and rather self-centered in a way that was a little difficult to connect with. And while the message of this book seems to be finding hope after so much darkness, I found the ending to be… well… depressing.
So, not really my cup of tea, but if you like historical fiction and don’t mind sad endings, this could be for you!
Okay… this review is going to be a little different than the one I posted on Goodreads, because honestly, I’m still mad about the ending. While what I wrote on Goodreads still stands… I’m going to add a little extra because I just need to vent (but I’ll still refrain from spoilers). So here’s my Goodreads review:
A wonderful historical fiction of the forgers in the French resistance in World War II. I loved the characters, their romance, and their story but this definitely left me feeling heavy (which I suppose should be expected from a WWII novel). I picked up the audiobook from the library, and the narrator did a wonderful job with the accents. Although I think the ending technically would be classified as a happy ending, it was super bittersweet, and I still felt really sad for the MCs. I just loved them so much, I was really hoping for more for them. 😭 (No actual tears shed, but definitely a sigh.) Now I need to go listen to something happy. 😭
Okay… now here are my thoughts after stewing over it for a few days. Did I say bittersweet? I meant BITTERsweet. I mean, I did love like 95% of this book… but the whole time, I was basically twisting myself into a knot, saying: This BETTER have a happy ending. They can NOT just build me up like this. There has to be some kind of twist. Etc. Etc. Etc. And then the ending came and… it just wasn’t enough. The near-misses almost seem cruel, and with so much other sad stuff that happens in the book, we couldn’t just have one wonderful thing to hold onto?! I was talking to one of my other author friends… and basically I’m still not over it. If you’re into bittersweet… sure, give it a shot. Or, just stop at the 95% mark and make up your own ending.