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August 30, 2023

The Postcard by Carly Schabowski ~ A Review

by Susan Roberts

Holding the faded postcard in her trembling hands, Mia begins to read the one story her grandmother could never tell her, revealing a secret that will change her own life forever…

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Postcard by Carly Schabowski
August 2023; Bookouture; 978-1837906031
audio, ebook, print (328 pages); historical fiction

This emotional story has a dual line and is told by several different POVs.  It shows the lack of involvement of the Polish elite in contrast with the brutal lives of the Jewish residents and the prisoners of war.  It's a story of love and forgiveness, the effect of keeping secrets, and the effects of the war during and after.

Ilse was a young woman living in Poland with her family.  Her family was very rich and snobby and the war didn't seem to affect their lives.  Ilse and her best friend Marlena enjoyed spending time walking across the bridge that connected Poland to Germany.  They met two young boys and Ilse fell in love with one of them. When the war started, both young men joined the Polish Army.  One of them became a deserter and the other ended up in a POW camp.  Ilse is so immature that she thinks she can help rescue the friend in the camp without considering the danger that it would put him in.  She ends up fleeing to the UK and later has a son.  When her son and his wife die, she raises her granddaughter Mia, and then when Mia started college,  she moved back to her hometown in Poland. Mia stayed in England to work but when she lost her job and her boyfriend, she decided to go see her grandmother.  She knew that Ilse had fallen but was not aware of her real health conditions.  Her grandmother tells her a few things about her life in Poland during the war and she hears the rest from Marlena and one of the men who was part of her friends' group in her younger days.  Ilse's story shocks her and she vows to try to find the person that her grandmother had loved before the war.  What she finds out makes her view her grandmother differently and she realizes that Ilse never really allowed herself to live life and be happy because of her guilt about things that happened during the war.

This book was beautifully written and well-researched.  The characters were all easy to love - except for Ilse because she was so out of touch with what was going on and she wanted to do things her way no matter what the consequences might be.  The story was very emotional and some of the descriptions of the POW camps were difficult to read but overall this was a fantastic book about forgiveness and love.  This is my first book by this author but it definitely won't be my last.

Based on a true story, this page-turning and emotional wartime novel follows one woman’s brave decision to save the man she loves from the Nazis and the repercussions of her actions for years after the war ended.

Buy The Postcard at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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