The Note – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Note

Author:- Carly Schabowski

No. of pages:- 300 pages

Date published:- will be published on March 28th 2022

Publisher:- Bookouture

Genre:- Historical Fiction


A heartbreaking World War Two tale, The Note is about lost loves and long-buried secrets, desperate decisions––and the consequences that cannot be escaped…

Auschwitz, 1942: On a warm summer’s day in Paris, Jozef and his beloved wife Adi are captured by the Nazis after going on the run. Forced onto a train with countless others, they spend days travelling to Auschwitz. They are torn from each other, stripped of belongings, their arms inked with prison numbers. In the death camp, their days are numbered––will they ever see each other again?

1953, South Carolina: On the night of her thirteenth birthday, the air as sticky as honey, Alice is woken up by the ear-splitting sound of sirens. The body of a teenage girl, Nancy, has been found in the lake.

Suspicion falls on Jozef, a German refugee who now lives in the small town. When one of Alice’s friends breaks a window in his house, Alice is wracked with guilt. She writes a note apologizing––a note that changes everything.

As Alice and Jozef form a friendship, Jozef opens ups about his painful past: he is an Auschwitz survivor. Hearing about the desperate choices people were forced to make, and the hunt for freedom amongst so much heartbreak, Alice starts to see her own life––and the death of her friend––in a new light.

As their bond deepens, Alice uncovers Jozef’s secret––one that has followed him from Auschwitz, and could now shatter Alice’s world. When a long-awaited storm breaks the suffocating heatwave, the truth finally comes out, and Alice’s life will never be the same again…

An incredibly gripping and tearjerking page-turner perfect for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzWhen We Were Yours and We Were the Lucky Ones.

This book, in my opinion is one of the best books I have read from this author and very emotional and heartbreaking one too.

The story starts with a girl named Alice, where one of the girls in their neighborhood was brutally murdered. While the investigations are going on, she meets and befriends a German man living in the town, known as Jozef. She starts listening to Jozef’s life in Germany during Hitler’s time and how as a Jew survived the war.

The story was engrossing and engaging and it got more interesting when I started reading about Jozef’s part. Caryl’s writing was engaging and she does a good of drawing the reader into the story, making the reader feel like they are a part of the story. This story also talks a love story between Jozef and Adi, the sacrifices friends would make for each other in the time of need and of course loyalty. I do like how Alice, slowly grew a bond with Jozef that she refused to let go of her friendship with Jozef, even after he got arrested. There were some parts in the book where I literally cried and there were some tear jerking moments and heart breaking moments in this story.

Of course, the scenes from Auschwitz was difficult to read as we know that the events that happened in one of infamous Nazi concentration camps was too unbearable and disturbing to read. I did like how the two old friends, Bruno and Jozef reunited and Bruno helped with Jozef’s escape. However, the revelation at the end was too surprising that I didn’t really expect that surprise revelation!

Overall, this is an emotional and heartbreaking book that talks about friendship, courage and bravery. Worth five stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Carly lives in a tiny cottage in Oxfordshire, with barely enough room to swing a cat. Yet, she has managed to dwell in such a hobbit-type abode for some years with her two dogs, who keep her company as she reads, writes, eats chips, and drinks the occasional gin.

An occasional runner, gym goer, and walker, Carly is also an habitual binge-watcher of box sets and reader of anything she can get her hands on, including the back of cereal boxes.

Her interest in WWII history spans from a familial connection, and inspired her to complete a PhD regarding the author’s responsibility to historical fiction

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