The Young Survivors by Debra Barnes is a marvellous historical debut novel. It is completely absorbing and I could not put it down.
The novel is grounded in fact as it is based on the author’s mother’s wartime experiences. It is a tribute to the indomitable human spirit and to the six million who perished in the holocaust.
Set between 1938-1945 in France the story follows the plight of a Jewish family. There are some truly heart-breaking scenes to read. The five siblings have a strong bond and love for each other. Along the way they meet the very good and the completely evil. The youngsters are so brave, even the youngest twins who were born in 1938.
Debra Barnes is clearly a talented author and I look forward to more by her.
Being hated for merely the circumstances of being born Jewish is horrendous. This quote sums it all up. I found it extremely powerful and absolutely heart-breaking:
“We had no idea what it meant to be Jewish except it meant the Germans and many of the French hated us.”
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.