I originally purchased this book as I was under the impression that it was one of the various Holocaust survivor testimonies currently available for the Kindle. However, this book is not a factual testimony but a novel written in the style of a survivor testimony.
Now immediately you can think one of two things:
1) I didn't want a novel, should I continue?
2) How will a novelist treat such a sensitive subject area?
After finishing the book, I would definitely recommend it to others who usually read Holocaust survivor testimonies. The author fully respects the historicity of the period and does not overdramatize nor sensationalise. Indeed at certain moments, I felt as if I was reading a factual testimony and not a novel.
The story is narrated by a woman looking back in time on her experiences in Poland, beginning just before the invasion of her country when she was still a child. Her family is swiftly relocated to a ghetto before being transported to Auschwitz. It is a tale of ultimate degradation, brutality, loss, hunger, but most importantly, of survival. The book ends with a poignant climactic scene which was a truly beautiful conclusion to this excellent read.
The book is very short and can be read in a single sitting but it is packed with descriptive prose and rife with emotion. This is an excellent novel, and one which will help to raise awareness of these terrible crimes. Whilst a novel can never seek to replace a survivor testimony in terms of the raw emotive power of the narration, books like these can only help to prevent the Holocaust from fading into the mists of obscure and forgotten history.