Book Review: The Survivors by Kate Furnivall

On Sundays, we tend to go to church as a family. This morning I had a really hard time rolling out of bed. It had everything to do with staying up until the wee hours reading. Adulting is hard… weighing the consequences of your poor decisions and choosing to still be unwise. Then having to function as a contributing member of society the next day without taking out your lack of sleep on anyone else. It’s hard y’all… It’s hard.

So what kept me engaged until the wee hours, citing “Just one more chapter…”to myself? (knowing full well that I’d read until the book was done. I blame the iced latte after dinner.) The book? The Survivors by Kate Furnivall. Amazing. Hearbreaking. Intense.

It’s set in post-WWII Germany, in a Displaced Persons camp… a collection of survivors, unwanted, who have survived but now fight their greatest battle to thrive. As much as I read stories of WWII, I’ve not given much thought to the everyday survivors – those who’s homes were razed – the refugees – the ones with nothing but their wits and the clothes on their backs.

The strength of the main protagonists – a Polish mother and her young daughter is remarkable – a testament to the power of a mother’s love as the impetus to do anything to save your child – to survive. It’s not a sweet and tidy fairy-tale. It’s gritty. It’s rough. It’s painful and powerful. The author does not cushion the blows or smooth out the jaggged edges – the language, violence, and choices reflect the grittiness of the characters. This may offend some, but I found it atmospheric… real.

As a whole, The Survivors is moving. It’s fast paced, suspenseful, with danger, daring, and romance. It’s a remarkable piece of historical fiction with a unique look at the tragedies of war and the strength of survival. It’s truly a gripping piece of work. Watch for it to hit shelves at all major booksellers this Tuesday.

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this title via NetGalley with thanks to the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

Published by: Simon and Schuster Canada

Publication date: April 30, 2019

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