Searching for My Daughter by Liz Trenow
Published May 5th 2022 by Bookouture, Bookouture Audio
About the Book: The queue is long, but that barely matters. She is used to waiting. For the midnight knock at the door, for her number to be called, for the next meal of watery soup, the sound of a gunshot… Sustaining her through every moment of waiting, there has remained the tiniest flicker of hope: her daughter Rosa’s face, eyes bright and expectant, arms outstretched.
Germany 1945: Miriam has travelled for over two weeks to reach safety. Exhausted and hungry, she knows she is still one of the fortunate ones. One of the few to survive the camps. Having lost her darling husband and son, the only thing that has kept her walking is the hope of finding her daughter, Rosa.
As she arrives at the checkpoint, she is told it is closed for the day. But in her mind Miriam can hear her daughter’s voice: Be strong, stand up to them. Don’t let anyone bully you, Mum. Standing tall, she comes face to face with the guard and refuses to leave until they help her.
When Miriam is introduced to an English officer named Jack, she describes how, fearing the Nazis, she and her husband sent Rosa to England to marry. It was not a marriage of love but of survival. Now, Miriam needs the officer’s help: if she is to be reunited with her beloved daughter, he will need to help her travel to England.
But as Miriam begins to describe Rosa, there is a look of recognition in Jack’s eyes. As he listens to her story, he is transported back to an unforgettable English summer, to secret picnics in the long grass, and to a love that shaped the man he became. Will Jack now risk everything to help Miriam make the biggest journey of all, back to her daughter and her freedom?
An utterly gripping and emotional novel about bravery, enduring love and keeping hope alive in the darkest of times. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, Beneath a Scarlet Sky and The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I read a lot of WWII Historical Fiction, but I wanted something besides the fighting and the concentration camps and that is what I got in Searching for My Daughter. It is 1945, and the camps have been liberated. Germany is controlled by Russia, Britain and the US. Refugees have flooded the streets and many are looking for visas to leave the country. Miriam is the sole survivor of her family who were sent to the camps, but her daughter, Rosa, married Daniel and escaped to England before the war began. She shows up at the Embassy and coincidentally runs into an English officer named Jack, who it turns out used to know and love Rosa. Jack provides her with a visa, tickets to get to England and his address to keep him in the know. Will Miriam find Rosa?
Although the majority of this story is told in 1945, there are some flashbacks that set up the reason Rosa married and fled with Daniel. There is also some information about the action and fate of her parents and brother, but it is minimal. There are parts of this story that are heartbreaking and some made me very angry. Miriam was a character with nothing to lose, she had one thing keeping her going and that was finding her daughter. A German in London didn’t have an easy time, but she had Jack on her side. Meanwhile, Rosa is also looking for her family and coming up against dead ends. The story is told from the POV of Miriam and Rosa, with the end being a third person narrative, and it works well. Liz Trenow has written a story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful. There were other themes including sexual abuse, domestic abuse, women’s roles, cheating, war criminals and prejudice all enmeshed in this story. I did a read/listen and enjoyed both formats. The audiobook was narrated by Karen Cass. She does a wonderful job with the voices of the characters. There were different ages, accents and both male and female characters and she does a great job giving them their own voice. Her expression added emotion and the pacing was good. I will definitely watch for more books she narrates. If you are a fan of historical fiction, especially dealing with the time after WWII, then I recommend this book to you.
Buy link: https://geni.us/B09V5PKS8Nsocial
About the Author: Liz Trenow is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction. Searching for My Daughter is her ninth novel. The Forgotten Seamstress reached the top twenty in the New York Times best seller list and The Last Telegram was nominated for a national award. Her books are published all over the world and translated into many languages.
She lives in Colchester with her artist husband, and they have two grown up daughters and three grandchildren. Find out more at www.liztrenow.com, or join her on Twitter @LizTrenow or Facebook at www.facebook.com/liztrenow/