The Silent Child – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Silent Child

Author:- J.G. Kelly

Date published:- will be published on 14th April 2022

Publisher:- Hodder and Stoughton

Genre:- Historical Fiction



LEO STERN arrives at the Nazi camp at Borek with his wife Irena and his two daughters. The Sterns are spared from the gas chamber when they witness a murder. But in a place that humanity has deserted, Leo is forced to make unimaginable choices to try to keep his family alive.


For seventeen years, Hanna has been unable to remember her identity and how she was separated from her family at the end of the war, until the discovery of a letter among her late uncle’s possessions reveals her real name – HANNA STERN – and leads her to Berlin in search of her lost past.

Helped by former lover Peter, Hanna begins to piece together the shocking final days of Borek. But Hanna isn’t the only one with an interest in the camp, and lurking in the shadows is someone who would prefer Hanna’s history to remain silent.

Based on in-depth research and beautifully written, this a novel of memory and identity, and the long shadow of war.

Any book that is based on WWII and Holocaust will catch my eye and I was over the moon when I got this ARC.

This is actually an unusual setting which I actually enjoyed reading.

In 1941, Leo Stern arrives to the camp with his wife Irena and their two children. In order to survive he was forced to do unimaginable things in order to survive his family.

In 1961, Hanna wants to find her real identity and while going through her uncle’s possession, she finds that she is Hanna Stern. Along with her friend Peter, they travel to Berlin to find the truth about Hanna’s family but there’s someone who didnt want her to find the truth.

I was actually engrossed into the story. What interested me most in the story was background of WWII and the Holocaust–the brutal treatment of Jews by the Nazis in the camps was too unbearable and emotional to read that at times, you still couldn’t believe that these things did happen in real life. I am guessing the present day is mostly based on Nuremberg trials when the Nazi soldiers were put on trial for their crimes but maybe I was wrong. The past, set in 1940’s was the one that was heartbreaking and emotional to read. The author has done tremendous research about the war, the conditions of the camps, the brutal treatment of Jews by the Nazis and did a good job of drawing the reader into the story. I actually enjoyed reading this book and was glad I requested the ARC!

Overall, if you love a historical fiction with an emotional and heartbreaking story that will bring tears, then this book is one for you–worth five stars!

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

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