Savage is a great title for this sometime tender, oft brutal, but always compelling story. Readers who expect a romance may find themselves disappointed, as a bulk of this story deals with the Holocaust, but the background love story really helps drive the tale. I would warn readers that there are several possible triggers in this tale; besides the obvious brutality of the concentration camp and the gas chambers, there is an episode of abuse between Scarlett & Tomas that might agitate some readers.
The book utilizes a clever device, in which a young woman stumbles upon a diary / journal written by her deceased mother-in-law Scarlett and chronicling the early days of her relationship with the man, Tomas, who would become her husband. Interspersed within the present-day narrative of young Avi reading the journal and the journal “entries” themselves (more on these entries later) are flashbacks to Tomas’ life in Poland during WW2, both in the Warsaw Ghetto and, later, concentration camp.
Okay, back to the journal entries… Initially the style here was quite jarring. Instead of reading as actual diary prose, these portions were told in third person omniscient POV. It took quite a while for me to adjust to the style. Likewise, Tomas’ flashbacks were similarly written. As a reader, I couldn’t figure out if young Avi was supposed to be reading these portions out of Scarlett’s journal or if they were ‘extra’ story included for me.
Each aspect of the tale, Avi’s portion, Scarlett’s journal, and Tomas’ war story were well written and the story was highly compelling, but it was the disconnect between the three that kept me from giving it five stars. Also, if I’m being honest, I would wish this book a cover makeover. It’s a little thing, but the title & author name are difficult to read. Despite the slightly awkward transitions between the different portions of the story I still couldn’t put this one down. It was quite the page turner.
If you’d like to read Savage for yourself, you can pick it up via Amazon HERE.
**I received an electronic copy of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**