Fatherland — Robert Harris

A book I’ve been wanting to read for a while. Interpret however you will the fact I chose to read it — a reimagining of one of the darkest periods of history with an even darker turn of events — in March 2021.

In keeping with the theme for most of my reading this year so far, it’s great escapism. Although it’s horrifying, we can read it in the comforting knowledge that Hitler, of course, didn’t actually win the war.

And yet… that it’s rooted in historical fact that is so close and known to us is what makes it such a chilling dystopia. The international community chose to appease Hitler. Ordinary people turned away from the genocide of Jewish people that was happening before their eyes.

There will always be people willing to stand up in the face of atrocity. The question the book asks so powerfully is: who will hear them? As Uighurs are rounded up and detained in forced labour camps, this is devastatingly relevant.

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