Even in Darkness

Written by Barbara Stark-Nemon
Review by Joanna Urquhart

Barbara Stark-Nemon’s Even in Darkness dramatizes virtually the entire 20th century German experience through the life of the book’s main character, Klare Kohler, who is married to Jakob Kohler at the start of the First World War. She lives through all the signature events of Germany in the first half of the 20th century: her husband is wounded, she uses her wits and courage to endure the miserable interwar years, and she watches the rise of the Nazis. She navigates the dangers of the era as best she can but eventually ends up at the concentration camp of Theresienstadt, where she survives by forging a tenuous alliance with the camp commandant.

The novel takes an unexpected turn when Klare comes to know the much-younger German priest Ansel Beckmann; the growing affection between the two – and the adventures they and Klare’s children share in post war Germany and beyond – makes for smoothly professional and very involving reading.

Strongly recommended.