Kingdom of Twilight by Steven Uhly is a massive novel that starts with the assassination of a young SS officer in Poland and traces the consequences for the various participants over the next 4 decades, ranging from Poland to Germany to Israel.
When I started this I thought that it was unbearably grim and looking down at the corner of my Kindle I saw that I had over 10 hours of reading ahead of me. I almost gave up, I’m so glad that I didn’t. Instead I dug in and read the whole thing in 2 or 3 big sessions over a weekend, it is mesmerising.
I thought I knew a fair bit about the challenges that holocaust survivors faced after the war but Kingdom of Twilight opened my eyes to how much the survivors suffered again in their efforts to find resettlement and new lives outside of Germany. Uhly is a German author and this is not a Nazi bashing novel, it is a story of how far people will go to to survive, the challenges of facing the past and the extent to which those in power will elevate pragmatism and politics over humanity. In the end it is a wonderfully uplifting book which I could not have predicted when I started.
I know my European Jewish background makes me slightly biased but I thought this was a fantastic read, thought provoking, tense and mysterious.
This is a must read and the first time in ages that I have wanted to give a novel 5/5!