Set in the WWII era when Hitler was in full flight, the setting is eerily recognisable. Germany has swallowed Poland and is determined to swallow Europe whole.
We have Natalie a children's writer and her sister Anna with early onset dementia and their niece Mila. We have another sister Ilona who is desperately in love with Bela. Those are our main characters. We have Hungary on the eve of being taken over by the Nazis and everyone who can escape trying their best to do so.
Natalie is the stalwart one in the family. Having arranged for five tickets to get on to the last train out of Hungary, she realizes at the very end that Ilona through Bela has no intention of getting tickets for all of them, and only has thoughts of getting herself and Bela out of the country. Faced with this problem and most importantly the fact that Mila is a Jew and will face every obstacle possible, the next course of action for Natalie is to find an alternative way to either hide Mila or send her out of the country in another way.
Who is friend and who is an enemy, who will sell them out - questions of family loyalty and the heartbreak that one has to face when you think that your own sister will be your enemy are subjects that no one should have to face.
The story reiterates the suffering faced by families in Europe during this period and the stunning fact that very few people outside did anything to help. It is true that some people did more than their fair share of trying to help at least some people but you always felt that more could have been done.
A story of love of different kinds - romantic as well as family love. Also a story of history of a time which must be documented well just to make sure that it does not get repeated.
I got this free on an Amazon download and am so glad I did. Not very often that a historical fiction novel comes up free on Amazon!