The Holocaust is a dark but fascinating topic, and this book dives deep. Set during the Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt in the 1960s, this book explores the idea of inheriting guilt and trauma, dealing with lies, acceptance, and forgiveness.
How people deal with things their society, culture, and family have done and experienced is something I've thought a lot about lately, and this story really created an opportunity for the main character, some side characters, and the reader to work through that process. This book sucked me in, it made me think, it made me ache. I genuinely could not put it down and days later I'm still thinking about some of the points the book raised.
Each character is unique and vivid, with a distinct storyline. This meant that there are many threads of story running through this book and at times I did wonder how some bits were going to be resolved, but everything was woven together artfully at the end while avoiding the triteness that often accompanies wrapping up a novel. Small details blended seamlessly with the story but helped to transport you to 1960s Germany and establish the setting, further lending to the almost effortless brilliance of this novel.
The one part that I had an issue with was the overly done romantic resolution for the main character, the very end of the book made me wonder if she had really grown and learned anything at all. It seemed too shallow to fit the rest of the storyline. Perhaps it was set up that way to leave an opening for a sequel, I'm not sure, but it was the only part of the book that was disappointing.