Beautiful, sad, hopeful and powerful

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lurkykitty Avatar


This story is set toward the end of WWII in Poland and what is now Ukraine and follows the dual perspective of two young people caught up in conflict and change. Maria is Polish and is making her way home after being kidnapped and sent to a German work camp for two and a half years. Kostya is part of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. They meet when Maria saves Kostya from being interrogated and killed by Russian soldiers. The Polish resistance and Ukrainian nationalists are enemies, but Maria needs Kostya's help when her older brother Tomek goes missing. Both are very sympathetic characters, having suffered so much terror and loss.
The story is well written, interesting and fast-paced with unrelenting suspense and tension. I could not put it down. There are many nationalities and factions involved, and I was grateful that an index and character directory were provided in the back of the book, to which I referred frequently. I liked learning about a part of WWII history which gets little to no attention in fiction.
It would have been helpful to have more historical context provided. The ending seemed abrupt, and I wanted the book to last a little more. The Silent Unseen is a powerful and sad, yet beautiful and hopeful story which makes the reader think about the futility and horror of war, especially given current events in this part of the world.