What I Would Tell You by Liz Tolsma
When Tessa Payton takes a DNA test, it reveals she’s Greek – which she knows – and Jewish – which she did not know. All Tessa knows is that her great-grandmother immigrated right after World War II. Not only does Tessa’s mother shed no light on the subject, but she urges Tessa to drop the matter. Tessa does not. Emptying her savings, Tessa buys a ticket to Thessaloniki, Greece. There, to help Tessa understand the Jewish community during the war, the handsome curator of the Jewish museum gives her a journal belonging to Mathilda Nissim.
When the Nazis invade Greece, newlywed Mathilda is horrified that no one resists. She’s heard rumors of horrible things happening to Jews throughout Europe, so she decides to spread the word and publish an underground newspaper. But soon Mathilda and her husband Asher are confined to the ghetto, and hunger takes hold. And when Mathilda finds out she’s expecting a baby, she faces an uncertain future for her daughter.
Rich in historical research and vivid in setting, Liz Tolsma‘s What I Would Tell You illuminates the horrifying plight of the Jews in Thessaloniki during World War II. Mathilda and Tessa, though separated by eighty years, share determination and compassion and a longing for family. Tessa’s search and Mathilda’s striving make the novel difficult to put down. I strongly recommend this heartfelt tale.