Engrossing Historical Fiction

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shradha rawat Avatar


I have grown into a bit of a rut when it comes to WW2 fiction. Most of them seem to fall into a generic "Jewish person must flee the Nazis" or "Resistance member saves Jewish person from Nazis" plot. While these books can be interesting and the messages of tolerance they attempt to portray important, what I love about "The Silent Unseen" is that it paints a portrait of WW2 Ukraine that is not only heartbreaking, but unflinchingly realistic.

There are no punches pulled in this book. One of the main characters, in just the first few pages is hinted to have suffered sexual assault and been forced to kill others for survival, an aspect usually brushed over in most books. Here, it's used as an element to explain a character's motivations, and how it guides them in creating a connection with the other main character.

I know many people may be turned off from this book due to its setting, particularly in the light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict going on today. While I can understand the reservation, I would also use it as a reason to read this book, as it provides valuable context as to why Ukraine and other Eastern European countries have been so fierce to defend their independence.