I've just realised what it is about this book I am finishing: it is written from the grandchild's viewpoint, or great niece's. That is what resonates for me.
Maybe this book will open a dialogue which is more open, less intense, less personal, less impossible than the conversation between me as a 21 year old and my great aunt of 70 or so. Asking 'What was it like?', and there being no possible answer beyond a mention of being made to queue naked, making friends for life and the message of her still being alive being passed to her parents by, I believe, a young man who used to work for the father.
I think I have been reading horror stories all my life in preparation for learning more: Solzhenitsyn, Vietnam.
I used to think that the military history section in WH Smiths was deeply odd! Now I think that books establishing the facts again and again is a basis for other types of reflection. It is a speaking of the truth, a refusal to be silenced, a part of our freedom here in the UK.
It is called The Invisible Bridge, written by Julie Orringer.