Title: The Daughter's Tale
Author: Armando Lucas Correa
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 7 May 2019
Format: eBook - PDF
Source: ARC via NetGalley
New York City, 2015: Elise Duval, eighty years old, receives a phone call from a woman recently arrived from Cuba bearing messages from a time and country that she’s long forgotten. A French Catholic who arrived in New York after World War II, Elise and her world are forever changed when the woman arrives with letters written to Elise from her mother in German during the war, unravelling more than seven decades of secrets.
Berlin, 1939: Bookstore owner and recent widow Amanda Sternberg is fleeing Nazi Germany with her two young daughters, heading towards unoccupied France. She arrives in Haute-Vienne with only one of her girls. Their freedom is short-lived and soon they are taken to a labor camp.
Based on true events, The Daughter’s Tale chronicles one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II: the 1944 massacre of all the inhabitants of Oradour-Sur-Glane, a small, idyllic village in the south of France. Heartbreaking and immersive, The Daughter's Tale is a beautifully crafted family saga of love, survival, and hope against all odds.
The Daughter's Tale was a captivating read in many ways. The story held my interest, and the prose was lyrical and engaging. There is a strong message of hope that really shone through, despite the bleak events taking place, not least since it is partially based on true events. However, I felt the ending let the book down a little. The story was nicely paced at the start, but towards the latter half, things became muddied--a sudden rush of new characters not helping in that regard--and overall the conclusion fell flat. I had expected more from the denouement, yet it seemed rushed after the earlier slow build-up. I think this is a book that will divide readers. Some will love it and become deeply emotionally involved with the characters, but for others it may not quite come together. Nonetheless, if you are a firm historical fiction fan, it is worth checking out. 3.5 stars.