Evocative and Moving: A Review of The Collaborator by Diane Armstrong

Evocative and Moving: A Review of The Collaborator by Diane Armstrong

Annika knows her now-widowed grandmother survived the Holocaust, and knows that she won’t talk about it. But a trip to the Sydney Jewish Museum sets Annika on a course to find out exactly how her grandmother was saved, why her grandmothers photograph is on the wall in the museum and why she won’t talk about or even acknowledge Miklos Nagy, the man who helped rescue her, and hundreds of other Jews, from Hungary. Annika, having resigned her job as an editor, travels to Budapest, searching for clues about Nagy. While she finds titbits of information and a handsome tour guide, Annika discovers that in order to get the full story of Miklos Nagy, she needs to go to Tel Aviv. And in Tel Aviv, she will uncover the secret that has poisoned the lives of three generations past: her grandmother, her mother, and herself. She will also discover her future.

Told alongside Annika’s story is the story of Miklos Nagy himself. He is trying to get as many Hungarian Jews to safety as possible, including his own wife. But in his attempts, he is seen to be working with the Nazis. This fact puts him in the unique position of being considered both a hero and a traitor. Having gone through their own harrowing experiences after being ‘saved’, some of the people he saved think that they’ve been betrayed by Nagy. But were there behind-the-scenes meetings and moments that occurred that could change the way Nagy is viewed? And how should Nagy be remembered by history? This is what Annika wants to find out.

The Collaborator is a stunning blend of the past, the present and the promise of the future. Annika’s determination to find out both the story of her grandmother and that of Miklos Nagy is inspiring. The alternating perspectives of the chapters, from telling Annika’s story to telling Miklos’ story engage you in a way that transports you instantly to each place. You almost don’t want an Annika chapter to end, because you’re so involved with that one time and place. But as soon as you start a Miklos chapter, you never want that one to end!

Diane Armstrong seamlessly intertwines these beautiful and heart-wrenching stories. We’re witness to heartbreak and trials, but also love and heroism, in the face of bleak odds. The characters leap off the page and act their parts through your imagination. Armstrong’s talent for writing rich historical fiction has yet again proved itself. The Collaborator is evocative and moving; a fantastically written gem that you won’t want to put down!

Buy a copy the The Collaborator here

About the Author:

Diane Armstrong is a child Holocaust survivor who arrived in Australia from Poland in 1948. An award-winning journalist and bestselling author, she has written five previous books.Her family memoir Mosaic: A chronicle of five generations, was published in 1998 and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction as well as the National Biography Award. It was published in the United States and Canada, and was selected as one of the year’s best memoirs by Amazon.com. In 2000, The Voyage of Their Life: The story of the SS Derna and its passengers, was shortlisted in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction.Her first novel, Winter Journey, was published in 2004 and shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. It has been published in the US, UK, Poland and Israel. Her second novel, Nocturne, was published in 2008 and won the Society of Women Writers Fiction Award. It was also nominated for a major literary award in Poland. Empire Day, a novel set in post-war Sydney, was published in 2011.Diane has a son and daughter and three granddaughters. She lives in Sydney.

 

 

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                      Publisher details

                      The Collaborator
                      Author
                      Diane Armstrong
                      Publisher
                      HarperCollins
                      Genres
                      True Story, War
                      Released
                      19 August, 2019

                      Synopsis

                      It is 1944 in Budapest and the Germans have invaded. Jewish journalist Miklos Nagy risks his life and confronts the dreaded Adolf Eichmann in an attempt save thousands of Hungarian Jews from the death camps. But no one could have foreseen the consequences...It is 2005 in Sydney, and Annika Barnett sets out on a journey that takes her to Budapest and Tel Aviv to discover the truth about the mysterious man who rescued her grandmother in 1944.By the time her odyssey is over, history has been turned on its head, past and present collide, and the secret that has poisoned the lives of three generations is finally revealed in a shocking climax that holds the key to their redemption.
                      Diane Armstrong
                      About the author

                      Diane Armstrong

                      Diane Armstrong is a child Holocaust survivor who arrived in Australia from Poland in 1948. An award-winning journalist and bestselling author, she has written five previous books.Her family memoir Mosaic: A chronicle of five generations, was published in 1998 and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction as well as the National Biography Award. It was published in the United States and Canada, and was selected as one of the year's best memoirs by Amazon.com. In 2000, The Voyage of Their Life: The story of the SS Derna and its passengers, was shortlisted in the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction.Her first novel, Winter Journey, was published in 2004 and shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. It has been published in the US, UK, Poland and Israel. Her second novel, Nocturne, was published in 2008 and won the Society of Women Writers Fiction Award. It was also nominated for a major literary award in Poland. Empire Day, a novel set in post-war Sydney, was published in 2011.Diane has a son and daughter and three granddaughters. She lives in Sydney.

                      Books by Diane Armstrong

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