I gave up reading books about that time period many years ago, because they centered on life (and death) in the concentration camps, and the stories seemed to run into each other. Although Auschwitz does make an appearance, Balson's story centers around the life of Lena, a young girl growing up in Poland.
We first meet Lena Woodward when she asks Attorney Catherine and Liam, her investigator husband to help her search for Karolina's twins. This elegant, elderly woman is desperate to tell her story, and Catherine agrees to listen. Lena begins to tell her story of life in Nazi occupied Poland, and the reader is instantly caught up in life that is too relatable for comfort. Seventeen at the time of the Nazi takeover, Lena watched everybody and everything she loved be taken from her. The strength that she and her best friend, Karolina, showed was remarkable as they were faced with one struggle after another. This coming of age tale is unlike any you have ever read.
This is the third in the series for Catherine and Liam, who are now married and expecting a child. When Lena's son tries to take legal control of her finances and move her to a facility for those with dementia, Catherine acts as Lena's attorney. The court scenes give us a bit of a break in between the chapters that flashback to Lena's past, but the true strength of this book is in Lena's story.
This amazing look into an ugly part of history is beautifully told, and I am anxiously waiting for the next book in Balson's series.
Publisher - St. Martin's Griffin
Date of Publication - September 6, 2016