There, on the dusty floorboards, was a piece of paper, folded neatly. A newspaper article from 1941, written in German, alongside a faded picture of two men in Nazi uniforms staring at the camera. I was about to place it back in the box of forgotten things when something in the text jumped out at me. My breath caught in my chest. I know that name.
London, present day. Isla has grown up hearing her beloved grandad’s stories about his life as a child in pre-war Poland and as a young soldier bravely fighting the Germans to protect his people. So she is shocked and heartbroken to find, while collecting photos for his 95th birthday celebration, a picture of her dear grandfather wearing a Nazi uniform. Is everything she thought she knew about him a lie?
Unable to question him due to his advanced dementia, Isla wraps herself in her rainbow-coloured scarf, a memento of his from the war, and begins to hunt for the truth behind the photograph. What she uncovers is more shocking than she could have ever anticipated – a tale of childhood sweethearts torn apart by family duty, and how one young man risked his life, his love and the respect of his own people, to secretly fight for justice from inside the heart of the enemy itself…
An heartbreaking novel of love, betrayal and a secret passed down through a family. Inspired by an incredible true story. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, We Were the Lucky Ones and The Alice Network.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carly Schabowski worked as a journalist in both North Cyprus and Australia before returning to Oxford, where she studied for an MA and then a PhD in creative writing at Oxford Brookes University. Carly now teaches at Oxford Brookes University as an associate lecturer in Creative Writing for first and second-year English literature students.
BUY THE RAINBOW
This is a complex dual-timeline novel that will break your heart, while at the same time giving you hope. We are transported to the devastation of World War II, and all its horror and secrets, and then to England 2015, as a granddaughter is dealing with the heartbreak of her grandfather’s dementia, and then even more pain upon learning certain truths. We are shown a compelling story of love, sacrifice, secrets, and betrayal, and left in awe at how love can overcome hate. I felt a connection to the dementia aspects of this story, as I personally watched dementia slowly take my Dad’s memory, and the heartbreak of that is portrayed in a real way in this novel. The fact that this is based on a true story makes it even more compelling. Carly Schabowski has woven together a complex, beautiful, and painful tale that will keep you attuned to each turning page until the last secret is revealed.
I received a free copy of this book via Bookouture. My opinions are my own.
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