The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero is a historical fiction novel that takes place after Word War II has ended. I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this novel to review from Amazon Publishing and Brilliance Publishing. All opinions are my own.
Stefano is an Italian POW who is trying to navigate his way home in the postwar climate. He stumbles upon a little boy clinging to his deceased mother and despite wanting to leave him behind, takes him along on his journey. They come upon an empty house and take residence, meeting neighbors Rosalind and Georg.
Erich, a former SS officer, returns to his old home to find Stefano and the boy there. He invites them to stay until they can get home but Stefano is hesistant. The characters get to know one another and the timeline bumps back and forth between present tense and exploring their past lives. One day, Stefano notices a photo on Rosalind's wall of Monique, her mysterious cousin who went missing during the war. As they continue to get to know each other, secrets unravel and a truth emerges, which may prevent Stefano from ever escaping.
I enjoyed this book overall. It was a little slow in the beginning for me and each chapter is told from a different character's perspective, which can be confusing in the beginning. The drama definitely picks up in the back third of the book where there are many twists and turns. The ending was a little disappointing for me but overall I enjoyed it. I read a lot of WWII historical fiction and I thought this was an interesting premise of a story told after the war. Through the use of flashbacks the reader gets to experience what the characters endured during the war without being overly explicit. This story was a creative new take on a WWII tale so if you enjoy reading this genre, I think you'll enjoy this one.
Book Rating: ☕☕☕
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