The Survivors by Kate Furnivall | Book Review

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Synopsis: Germany, 1945. Klara Janowska and her daughter Alicja have walked for weeks to get to Graufeld Displaced Persons camp. In the cramped, dirty, dangerous conditions they, along with 3,200 others, are the lucky ones. They have survived and will do anything to find a way back home.
But when Klara recognises a man in the camp from her past, a deadly game of cat and mouse begins.
He knows exactly what she did during the war to save her daughter.
She knows his real identity.
What will be the price of silence? And will either make it out of the camp alive?


Review: The Survivors is the story set after World War 2. It is told from three different perspectives – Klara, her daughter Alicja and Davide’s.

Klara, along with her daughter is trying to survive life after the Second World War. While at Graufeld Displaced Persons camp, Klara notices a man who closely resembles someone from her past, someone who she would like to remain in the past. If this is the man Klara thinks he is, she cannot let him live for both her and her daughter’s sake.

“Today I will kill Oscar Scholz.
Are you shocked?
I am. The thoughts in my head are on fire.”

Klara ultimately finds out that it is the man she thought, an ex-Nazi SS officer, her nemesis. Klara questions his motives, but the man claims he means no harm to Klara or her daughter. However, as days go by, some incidents at camp leave no doubt that someone is trying to kill Klara. Is it the Nazi officer or is it someone else?

I haven’t read many books written about life in the DP camps. Life was brutal there; men or women who were tortured by the Nazis during the war had to live amongst them.

Most of the storyline takes place in the camp where we see what life must have been inside the camp. We also get glimpses of Klara and Alicja’s past: the things they both had to do to survive during the war. We also meet Davide, whom I loved as Klara’s love interest.

Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :

  • I loved Klara’s character: strong, feisty, smart, and an excellent mother to Alicja. I also loved Alicja, who might be little but she is her mother’s mini-me.
  • I loved the plot, the pace of the story. This is a historical fiction with an air of mystery around it.
  • To be honest, there isn’t anything I disliked about the book.

I highly recommend The Survivors by Kate Furnivall. It has been written beautifully and evokes so many emotions that I couldn’t help but give it 5 stars.

\\\ I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Verdict: 5 stars out of 5

Author: Kate Furnivall was raised in Penarth, a small seaside town in Wales. Her mother, whose own childhood was spent in Russia, China and India, discovered at an early age that the world around us is so volatile, that the only things of true value are those inside your head and your heart. These values Kate explores in The Russian Concubine.

Kate went to London University where she studied English, ​and from there she went into publishing, writing material for a series of books on the canals of Britain. Then into advertising where she met her future husband, Norman. She traveled widely, giving her an insight into how different cultures function which was to prove invaluable when writing The Russian Concubine.

It was when her mother died in 2000 that Kate decided to write a book inspired by her mother’s story. The Russian Concubine contains fictional characters and events, but Kate made use of the extraordinary situation that was her mother’s childhood experience – that of two White Russian refugees, a mother, and daughter, stuck without money or papers in an International Settlement in China.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
  • Publication Date: 29th November 2018
  • Paperback: 448 Pages

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Thank you (2)

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Author: Book Rambler

Hi! I'm Shalini. I am an avid reader, daydreamer, future scientist. In order to ramble about books with you, I created this blog. You can find me here and on any of my social media channels.

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