Amazon First Reads – July 2022
Nazis, Displaced Persons (DP) camps, Jews, Stalin, Russian Occupied Poland – sounds like this novel will be a bundle of fun! Although it is based on facts, this novel is quite uplifting although there are the inevitable horrid events in the plot. Unfortunately, the Ukraine war is a terrible reminder of the consequences of war. Events described in “A Feather on the Water” could play out in Ukraine too. So a timely reminder of the consequences of War.
The war in Europe had ended but the Allies have to deal with thousands of Displaced Persons from many countries. They place them in DP camps while waiting for repatriation or relocation. Volunteers with the help of the Allied troops are supervising the camps with limited resources. In this novel three female volunteers from the States, Britain and Austria arrive to help organise and supervise a camp near Dachau. Of course, the volunteers have complex back stories, and combined with the “prisoners” plights, pregnant women, limited food resources, accommodation shortages and conflicts with the locals – we have an intriguing scenario.
Many of the DPs are Polish and they want to return to their homeland. Russia under the auspices of Stalin is occupying Poland. Will it be safe to return to Poland while Stalin is occupying the country? Where else can they go? Politics is hindering other countries from offering a safe haven. The 3 volunteers have a challenging task. Their approach is endearing and despite the numerous problems, romance is in the air too! It is life-affirming that despite the hardships people can pull together and make the best of their situation.
Although, there are harrowing moments and the atrocities of war are a constant background, this is a warm book. The characters and locations are richly described. The three volunteers arrive with their own personal problems but there is a happy ending for each. In all, a lovely illuminating read!