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Testament by Kim Sherwood

When I received Kim Sherwood’s debut novel, Testament, I was excited to read it as I love historical fiction but more than that I was intrigued. Kim was inspired to write the story after her grandfather passed away. Shortly after his death her grandmother started to tell Kim of her own experiences as a Holocaust survivor. It was from here the seeds of Testament were sown. It would take Kim six years to research and write.

The hard work and love that has been poured into this book is very obvious when you read it. It is beautifully written and one that I will certainly remember for a long time.

Eva has a complicated family. Her relationship with her father is difficult to say the least. Her closest relationship is with her famous grandfather, the artsit Joseph Silk.

When he passes away, Eva discovers a letter from the Jewish Museum in Berlin who have found a confession given by Silk when he is freed from the forced labour camps. This is the start of the many discoveries Eva will make as she comes to understand the secrets her grandfather kept.

The story is told from the view points of Eva, as she searches for the truth of grandfather’s story. We also go back in time to witness the horrors that Joseph and his brother Laszlo faced. It is at times a difficult and upsetting read as Sherwood describes the atrocities faced by so many Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

The relationship between the brothers was interesting and heartbreaking, while Silk very much wanted to forget the past, unable to face the devastation of his family; his younger brother Laszlo was the opposite and wanted to talk about the past and reclaim his home.

It is such a thought-provoking book, it had me wondering what I could have learned from my own grandparents, and the stories and secrets we each take to our graves. It is a beautiful story of survival, friendship, love and family which I hope you will all enjoy reading. I highly recommend this one.

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