Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Release date: 1 April 2023
Back cover blurb: In 1944 in war-torn Dubrobvnik Branko Milisic holds his newborn daughter Safranka and wishes her a better future. But while the Nazis are finally retreating, the arrival of the partisans brings new dangers for Branko, his wife Dragica and their new baby… As older sister to two half-siblings, Fran has always known she has to fit in. But now, for the first time in her life Fran is facing questions about who she is and where she comes from. All Fran knows about her real father is that he was a hero, and her mother had to flee Dubrovnik after the war. But when she travels to the city of her birth to uncover the truth, she is devastated to discover her father was executed by the partisans in 1944, accused of being a collaborator. But the past isn’t always what it seems…
I enjoyed this novel, it was perhaps a little different to what I was expecting, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.
Following the death of her step father (who she has always seen has her father), Fran decides that the time has come to learn more about her real father. She knows that her Mother loved him very much and was devastated to leave Dubrovnik after the war.
There is little information for her to go on, so she decides to travel to Dubrovnik to see if she can find out more for herself. She is unprepared for, and devastated by the truth. Her Father's name is on a list of Nazi collaborators, and far from dying a hero, he was executed in shame.
Fran isn't sure that she wants to know any more, but she does wonder if there could possibly be more to the story. Should she really write him off without giving him a fair hearing? She decides to investigate further, with the help of a few friendly locals.
It is understood that not everyone wants to talk about the war, even decades later, and even less want to talk about the executions that happened, so getting to the bottom of her Father's story is somewhat problematic for Fran.
Luckily she is a strong individual, who has great relationships with her friends and family, who are there to offer a helping hand to support and guide her through the trickiest of personal journeys.
Told in a dual timeline from Fran's perspective in the present, and her Father's in the past, this is a beautifully written novel, about a country in WW2 that I really knew very little about, despite my fondness for this period in time in historical fiction.
The Collaborator's Daughter is available to buy now via Amazon online and all good book shops.
Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.