Recommended Book of the Week: The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero

The road beyond ruin

The road beyond ruin - Credit: Archant

It is August 1945 and Italian prisoner-of-war Stefano heads towards home across war-ravaged Germany.

On his journey, he encounters a young child beside his dead mother. Unable to leave him to an unknown fate, Stefano takes the boy with him, finding refuge in a seemingly abandoned house in a secluded woodland.

But the house is far from vacant. Stefano wakes at the arrival of its owner, Erich, a former German soldier, who invites the travellers to stay until they can find safe passage home. Stefano cautiously agrees, intrigued by the disarming German, his reclusive neighbour Rosalind, and her traumatised husband, Georg.

Stefano is also drawn to Monique, the girl in a photograph on Rosalind’s wall, who went missing during the war.

But when he discovers letters written by Monique, a darker truth emerges. This place of refuge could be one of reckoning, and the secrets of the past might prevent the travellers from ever getting home.