Book Review: The Guardian of Lies by Kate Furnivall

I’ve been *gasp* in a bit of a reading slump lately. There’s been so many things on my to-do list to tackle and when I’ve sat down to read, it’s been hard to ignore the little voice whispering “get up and do things…” So I’ve been a bit more productive lately, but my to-read pile continues to grow. Fortunately, I actually picked up this title months ago and have been eagerly waiting to share my thoughts. I do think it was enticing enough that those niggles of guilt would have been quieted long enough to even read it this week.

The Guardian of Lies is the second title I’ve read by Kate Furnivall. My first experience with her work was The Survivors – a gritty and gripping historical novel – that I reviewed previously. Not as gritty as her previous title, I found The Guardian of Lies to be just as engaging with twists and turns as the heroine finds herself questioning the allegiance of neighbours and family loyalties in Cold War-era France. This title is rife with danger, intrigue, secrets, and betrayal – who can you trust, where can you turn – and a bit of romance to balance the scales.

A fast-paced read, this is not the typical era I indulge in with my historical fiction picks. I wasn’t familiar with many of the incidents or significance of some of the references, but it wasn’t difficult to be immersed in the events or to feel the gravity of the tensions conveyed. It was an atmospheric and captivating novel from start to finish. It opens with heart-pounding action from the very first chapter and finishes along the same veins. The dark and shadowy world of espionage will have you questioning and doubting and surprised at some of the outcomes. Definitely a gripping page-turner that’ll keep you hooked with a well-thought out plot and remarkable characters!

My thanks to the publisher for the complimentary copy of this title via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada
Publication Date: July 2019

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