This is such a sad novel. It tells of a family's forced exile during the beginning of World War II and all the trials and tribulations they have to endure to survive. There is no hope in this novel for many of the characters just as there was none for a lot of the people facing the same terrible ordeal in real life.The story was extremely good. What made it short of 5 stars for me was the writing. Like with many beginning authors, this book leans heavily on dialogue. Although there are flashbacks, it could have used more backstory and writing in the third person. I was left feeling that I could have sympathized more with the characters and I was observing them from a distance instead of getting more involved.What happens in this book is based on true stories told by survivors. The tone is very gloomy and it isn't the easiest book to read. But you'll be glad you did.