Book Review: The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero

August 29, 2023


The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero is a novel story taking place in Germany, right after World War II. Ms. Liviero is a published author living in Australia.

  • 444 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Lake Union Publishing
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1503904768

Book Review: The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero
My rating for The Road Beyond Ruin – 4
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This book is not about the war, per se, but mostly about life immediately after World War II in Germany, and its effects. The setting and story are very creative, and the whole narrative turned 180 degrees from what I thought it would be.

The research in The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero is very good, like Broken Angels by the same author which I previously read. The complexities of life in a country that is under occupation and destroyed are described well.

The story, however, is somewhat disjointed, even though I got the gist of it. In the end, I felt it was rushed and jumbled. The transitions within the book are done without rhyme or reason, they simply don’t flow. A new character introduced at one point, is not being visited again much later.

The book is a slow burner, the author takes her time telling the story. The reader discovers little bits about each character in every chapter, but between the lines, I could tell there’s always more.

This is a story with many layers, brutal and naked, which had several twists I did not see coming. There are many themes, consequences of choices made, secrets, and good intentions gone awry.
And revenge, let’s not forget that.

As I said before, the last quarter of the book was rushed but I did understand what the author was conveying. It is a well-written book though, and well worth reading.


Stefano is an Italian POW who is walking home through Germany after the war. He finds a young child next to his dead mother and takes the boy with him.

Stefano encounters Erich, a former German soldier who invites him to stay until he can safely continue on his way. Erich’s neighbors are Rosalind and Georg, who suffer from PTSD. Stefano finds letters from Monique, who went missing during the war, which tell of a darker side to the family.

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More Books by Gemma Liviero*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I borrowed this book from Amazon Prime Reading
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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The Road Beyond Ruin by Gemma Liviero

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