The Lost Diary by Rose Alexander

So Powerful

The Lost Diary by Rose Alexander is a powerful dual timeline novel that totally consumed me.

The novel is set during World War II in Berlin and the Sudetenland, and also in London in 1994 as Britain is preparing to celebrate the fifty years anniversary since the end of World War II.

People want to hear war stories from their grandparents/parents. Silence has been kept for nearly fifty years. Now it’s the time to reveal long hidden secrets.

We hear the stories of Katja and Lou. Hers is told verbally, his is in the form of a diary. Finally, a daughter hears her parent’s stories.

Seeing World War II from the point of view of a German girl is a different perspective and one I had not thought of before. We witness the effect Allied bombing had on lives and see that not all Germans were Nazis. “It was inevitable that ordinary people should reap what their ruler had sown.” The women and children, the old and the young were all caught up in a war they did not want.

Kind hearts do what they can. We witness the bravery needed to stand up against the Nazis. Trust was in short supply as neighbours informed on each other, and people disappeared.

Was disillusioned many. Some wounded soldiers witnessed first hand the futility of war, and did what they could to sabotage the Nazi war efforts.

As the end of the war loomed large, Hitler and the Nazis took ever more desperate measures.

We follow the enforced mass migration back to Berlin in 1945. Ordinary people faced hunger and hardship.

We witness the terrible brutality inflicted on women of all ages, as the Soviets marched into Berlin. In contrast we see the kind heart of a British soldier who had compassion on the German refugees of war. “They’re people… They didn’t cause any of this. Surely it’s better to be kind than to be consumed by hatred.”

People did what they could in order to survive and feed their children. Moral codes altered, being totally abandoned by the Soviets who were beyond cruel, having no moral codes at all.

As a daughter hears her parent’s tales, she realizes how their experiences shaped them. Her father was a British P.O.W and her mother a German girl. They had very different experiences but both retained loving, compassionate hearts.

The Lost Diary was a powerful, heartbreaking read that played with my emotions. The characters were well drawn, likable and realistic.

This is a book from a very different perspective but still shows the horrors of war. It needs to be read in memory of all the innocents caught up in a war they did not want.

I received a free copy from the publishers for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


Book Description:

A wartime secret. A heartbreaking choice. A promise that cost her everything…

German-occupied territory, 1945. Tearing open the envelope, Katja studies every line and letter on the map. She wills herself to memorise it, copying every detail onto scraps of paper in the flickering candlelight. She’d nearly been caught delivering the letters by the SS that afternoon. Picturing Karl’s handsome face, her chest tightens. They’re in this together. But if she’s caught, what will happen to the baby?

London, present day. Jo is at a crossroads in her own life in her cosy bungalow on the edge of beautiful Hampstead Heath. Clearing out her mother, Katja’s, empty home, Jo’s world is turned upside down when she discovers a small, dog-eared diary stuffed into the back of a tiny kitchen cupboard. And tucked within its pages is a ripped, yellowed envelope with an unfamiliar, faded postmark. As she scans the scrawled handwriting, Jo can scarcely believe her eyes…

What really happened to that tiny baby all those years ago? And will this long-lost diary finally give Jo the answers to everything she’s been searching for?

Based on an incredible true story, The Lost Diary is a gripping and unforgettable tale about forbidden love and family secrets in World War Two. Fans of The LetterThe Nightingale and We Were the Lucky Ones will be utterly swept away.

Author Bio:

Rose Alexander has had more careers than she cares to mention and is currently a secondary school English teacher. She writes in the holidays, weekends and evenings, whenever she has a chance, although with three children, a husband, a lodger and a cat, this isn’t always as often as she’d like. She’s a keen sewist and is on a mission to make all her own clothes.

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Storyfire Ltd
Carmelite House
50 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DZ

Storyfire Limited, a member of Hachette UK Group, registered in England and Wales under company no. 7893911

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