Historical fiction

The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero

I received a copy of this as an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but I ended up listening to it in audible because it was available and this is my honest review of the audiobook version.


Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld, Angelo Di Loreto

I have to say that if you read this, you must read till the end. The last hour of the book was startling and made the entire experience worth it, else I would not have even liked the book!

This tale is not as it appears at first glance, as with a lot of the books I have read recently this is character heavy and not completely dependent on the storyline itself. It is 1945 and Germany has lost the war and Russian soldiers have taken over and are clearing the rubble looking for escaping Nazis. The common people are caught in the crossfire. We also have an italian with a personal stake who is trudging his way home. The story swings back and forth from the pre war to the current day too many times for my comfort but the author reveals the need to do just that later. We have childhood friends who grow apart as they grow older. Vicious emotions are at play and not all of the players are completely sane, the definition of sanity being brought into question here. I cannot reveal any more information about the story except that each one of the leading characters, three men and two women all get individual time to show us their side of things. In a slow and meandering fashion we get to know all of those people and what is happening in the house and river we become very familiar with.

As mentioned earlier I really liked the ending but knowing the ending, I would still say that the book and the flashbacks could have been shorter. If it has been even a few hundred pages lesser I would have really loved the book. It took me a long time to get through it all which slightly dampened my enthusiasm for it. I recommend it to those people who like historical fiction and a chance to get to know more about possible people caught in the conflicts.

Affliliate link to purchase: Book Depository

2 thoughts on “The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero”

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