“We Shall Remember” by Emma Fraser
As an author I treasure those letters from readers that say, “I enjoyed this book so much, I never wanted it to end.” I can truthfully say this about Emma Fraser’s novel, We Shall Remember. The story begins in 1939, in a secluded and peaceful section of countryside not far outside the Polish capital city of Warsaw. The German army has invaded this country sandwiched between its own border and Russia. For a brief time, in the early months of the invasion, Irina, a young medical student helps her family to survive, despite the approach and increasing brutality of the war. But German forces occupy and destroy the main cities and raze the countryside, leaving her no alternative but to flee. Escaping to Britain Irena meets an RAF pilot and finds a new opportunity of happiness, but risks it in an attempt to help her beleaguered country. This is a story that unfolds over the ensuing period of five decades, and how the truth of what happened to Irina after her time in wartime England, is revealed on the distant Isle of Skye long after the war ends.
It is an engrossing book. The closing chapters are some of the most poignant and emotional pages I have read in a long time. You do care for this important main character very deeply indeed. It was so beautifully written that, in words similar to those I quoted above, I truly did not want it to end.
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