What we thought : What a beautiful ending! *wipes away a tear*
This was a super read, with evocative language and well-drawn characters that carried this intelligent story of love and loss during WWII.
Have to admit I knew little about Irish history of this period, so found the whole transportation of Jewish people from Germany really informative. I found myself drawn to Oscar and Elsa more so than Kitty and Charles, although I'm not entirely sure why. I felt Kitty was a little blurred as a character, and I never felt a connection with Charles, whereas both German characters really lived and breathed the story.
The tone and language reminded me of another of my favourite WWII novels, 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson. There is something compelling yet almost innocent about the writing that seems to suit the chaos of the setting. My only real complaint was that maybe the stories ended too soon, I felt the characters had more to say and although the summary covered all important points, I was still left with a sense of their stories being incomplete somehow. Or maybe I was just sad to say goodbye!
You’ll enjoy this if you like : Amanda Hodgkinson, Sarah Waters, Barbara Erskine.
Avoid if you don’t like : Love stories, war stories and weeping like a girl.
Ideal accompaniments : A cup of Ovaltine and choc-chip cookies.
Genre : Literary Fiction