Today is my stop on the blog tour for What Remains At The End by Alexandra Ford. Thanks to Love Books Group for my spot on this tour.
Marie Kohler’s grandparents rarely spoke about their past, and now with the chance of finding out the truth growing slimmer by the day, she travels to Europe to discover what really happened. She uncovers an area of history forgotten by time and concealed by unspoken truths. But how can what has been lost for so long be recovered in the face of so many secrets?
In the aftermath of World War II, hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavia’s ethnic Germans, the Danube Swabians, were expelled by Tito’s Partisan regime. A further sixty-thousand were killed.
Seventy years later, Marie Kohler’s marriage is falling apart. She’s seeing someone new, an enigmatic man named David, who takes her to the former Yugoslavia to find the truth behind her grandparents’ flight to America.
Alternating between the late 1940s and contemporary Serbia, Marie’s story is interwoven with those of Tito’s victims—a young survivor who has lost his mother and his identity, a woman held captive in a sugar factory, a refugee girl living in Austria under the din of air raid sirens. Her journey follows the Danube in search of connection in the face of loss.
Connection to the lost souls, to the memory of her grandfather, to the man beside her, to her grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s back home.
What Remains at the End sheds light on a largely undocumented history that led to the ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of Germans at the end of World War II. A story of war and suffering, of loss and the search for connection and identity, it is a heart-wrenching and important debut from Alexandra Ford.
Wow! What an emotional and captivating novel. What Remains At The End is heart-wrenching, and as the blurb says, feels very important. Alexandra Ford was the perfect author to shed light on this part of history, because she very clearly took her time researching and making sure things were accurately represented.
Alexandra Ford’s writing is beautiful. It captivated my heart and took me on this emotional journey of a time that hasn’t been well spoken about. A time, I imagine, many of us are ignorant of. Just simply beautiful.
I’m finding it difficult to review this book without simply saying it’s a necessary, beautifully written, book that you should have your tissue box next to you when reading. I’m very impressed and looking forward to more from this author.
*I received a free copy of this book from Love Books Group in exchange for an honest review on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
Alexandra Ford was born near Philadelphia. She earned her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and her BA from Virginia Tech. Her writing appears in The Rumpus and No Tokens Journal, among others. She lives on a smallholding on the border between England and Wales. Her first novel What Remains at the End is available now.
Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to interact with you. If this sounds like something you would read, let me know!