In 1940, Helene, young, naive, and recently married, waves goodbye to her husband, who has enlisted in the British army. Her home, Guernsey, is soon invaded by the Germans, leaving her exposed to the hardships of occupation. Forty years later, her daughter, Roz, begins a search for the truth about her father, and stumbles into the secret history of her mother’s life. Written with emotional acuity and passionate intensity, Island Song speaks of the moral complexities of war-time allegiances, the psychological toll of living with the enemy and the messy reality of human relationships in a tightly knit community. As Roz discovers, truth is hard to pin down, and so are the rights and wrongs of those struggling to survive in the most difficult of circumstances.
My reading experience:
Firstly I would like to thank the publisher Netgalley and the author for my free ARC.
Roz is on a search to know her mother or more accurate her father. Forty years previously her mother Helene was experiencing the hardships of German occupation after being left behind by her husband who had joined the British Army. Rox has doubts and questions and throughout her search she uncovers the difficult aspects of wartime, the moral dilemmas, the intensity and immediacy of life and survival.
This is an incredibly moving tale of those complexities and the values misplaced upon history that cannot possibly be aligned under intense circumstances.
The author does justice to the dramas of relationships and the struggles of knowing and searching for truth. I highly recommend this book by Madeleine Bunting.