The Stars Are Our Witness by Siobhan Curham

Of Magic & Miracles

The Stars Are Our Witness by Siobhan Curham is an inspiring, heartbreaking historical read that consumed me for a few hours.

The novel opens in Warsaw in 1940. It is an occupied city where the Nazis are gradually exterminating the Jewish population. Those who were previously counted as friends are shunning their Jewish neighbours – except for one brave sibling pairing. Kindred spirits cannot be torn apart.

We witness the bravery and daring of even the very young in the fight back against the Nazi occupation. As the grip tightens and the violence escalates, so does the bravery.

The fight back and the resistance looks very different for different characters. They all have very different skill sets – some are called to fight, some to smuggle, and yet some use their feminine wiles to extract information and weapons. Codes of morality blur in times of war.

In contrast, we see the greed and the selfishness of those who collude with the Nazis. Even within families, there are those who are on the side of ‘right’ and those who are out for themselves.

It is heartbreaking to witness a character who thought he was helping as part of the juden rat, but finally realizes he is, in fact, powerless.

We see the Warsaw uprising and witness the aftermath.

As we travel to Auschwitz, we see hell on earth. Characters refuse to roll over and submit, fighting back where they can, in ways that they can. We see sacrifices being made as mouths are kept shut and bodies endure the unthinkable.

There are those who hold on to hope. The stars are the witness to their lives. The stars will forever remain.

Not all Germans are Nazis. Wearing the uniform has broken a soul who does what he can to atone.

All the characters were well drawn and realistic. I was totally engrossed in the book. This is a book that must be read in memory of the six million innocents who perished, and of those who survived.

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:

Auschwitz, 1943. Adela stuffs small cloth pouches containing the stolen gunpowder into the folds of her dress. As she joins the column of exhausted women heading back to the barracks, the guard shouts ‘Inspection!’ and her blood turns to ice…

Working in the camp’s munitions factory, Adela Rubenstein discovers the underground network fighting against the devastating cruelty all around them. Imprisoned for teaching Jewish orphans in secret for the resistance, she doesn’t hesitate to join the rebellion. Every night on the way back to her hut, she looks up at the stars, the only witness to their plan to blow up the crematoria buildings.

The women can only smuggle a teaspoonful of the gunpowder at a time. But Adela knows from her time in the Warsaw ghetto what incredible feats can be achieved with courage and patience. Thinking of home reminds her of her darling brother, Azriel, and Izabel, who was like a sister to her. She has no idea what happened to them when she was caught, if they are even still alive. But she must keep doing whatever she can to resist. She has to make them proud.

As the day of the attack draws near, Adela is utterly stunned when she comes face to face with her beloved brother. Pale and hunched, but alive. Her heart soars as she hugs him tightly. Maybe it’s a sign, and there is hope for them after all. But not if he is working in the very building they will soon destroy…

Fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe Nightingale and A Fire Sparkling will be swept away by this beautiful, heartbreaking read about unimaginable bravery, family ties and the power of hope when everything seems lost.

Author Bio:

Siobhan Curham is an award-winning author, ghost writer, editor and writing coach. She has also written for many newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Guardian, Breathe magazine, Cosmopolitan, Writers’ Forum,, and Spirit & Destiny. Siobhan has been a guest on various radio and TV shows, including Woman’s Hour, BBC News, GMTV and BBC Breakfast. And she has spoken at businesses, schools, universities and literary festivals around the world, including the BBC, Hay Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Bath Festival, Ilkley Festival, London Book Fair and Sharjah Reading Festival.

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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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