Book Review: A Song of Silence by Steve N. Lee


Rating: 4.5⭐

“The German people might want war. But this? This wasn’t war. This was something else. Something the civilized world had never seen.”

A Song of Silence by Steve N. Lee opens in a small town in Poland in the Fall of 1939 and revolves around Mirek Kozlowski, a Polish writer who also runs an orphanage with over ninety children under his care, a number that continues to increase as WWII rages on. Mirek’s prime concerns were providing for those in his care and keeping his children safe – a task that becomes increasingly difficult when the Nazis invade their small town, wreaking havoc in the lives of the residents. As the narrative progresses, we follow Mirek as he bears witness to atrocities committed by the SS. As the situation gradually worsens, Mirek struggles to a find way to protect his family while navigating the restrictions imposed upon the residents, censorship, food shortages and the surveillance of the SS headed by Hauptsturmführer Kruger who appears to have taken a keen interest in Mirek and his orphanage.

Having enjoyed the author’s previous work of WWII fiction To Dream Of Shadows, I was more than eager to read the author’s latest offering and I was not disappointed. This is a heart—wrenching read but so beautifully written that I could not put it down. With elegant prose, well-thought-out characters and a keen sense of time and place, Steve N. Lee weaves a powerful story of bravery, sacrifice and humanity in the face of pure evil. The author does not hold back from describing the episodes of mass violence, persecution and other war crimes committed by the SS and the plight of civilians struggling to survive in Nazi-occupied Poland. Needless to say, some scenes might be difficult to read. But amid the darkness, some moments will make you smile. Mirek’s devotion to his orphanage and his children and their love for their ”Papa Mirek” will melt your heart. Baba Hanka is an endearing character and I particularly enjoyed how the author chose to portray the growing bond between Ania and Merik through the course of the narrative. This is the kind of story that stays with you long after you have turned the last page.

As with any work of historical fiction, I place a lot of importance on a well-penned historical note as these segments elevate the overall reading experience. In this context, I must commend the author for the informative Behind the Scenes segment on the true events and the real people who inspired this novel. In addition to this segment, the author has also provided the link to A Song of Silence: The Story Behind the Story, where not only does he share further details on his research, the historical context of the novel and the creative liberties have has taken while crafting this story, but he also offers bonus chapters wherein we get to know the fates of several of the other (fictional) characters we met in the story.

Overall, I found this to be an absorbing read that I would not hesitate to recommend to fans of WWII fiction inspired by true events.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital review copy of this novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. Very nicely worded review, Sujoya.
    Thank you for sharing my book with your readers.
    I'm delighted you enjoyed Mirek's story so much.


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