Web of Humanity follows Anna Venu as she tries to make sense of her grandmother’s complicated and unknown family past. On the death of her grandmother, Anna’s grandfather finds an old birthday card with a child’s handwriting. This card from an unknown person opens a floodgate of curiosity that sends Anna on a jet setting tour of Austria, Germany, and France where she encounters family, love and moral conflict.
Web of Humanity is one of very few books that can be said to be genuinely hard to put down. From the very start of this novel you find yourself wondering the answers to the questions posed. And even when those answered are given, you find yourself, much like Anna, posed with even more. The answers to these questions pour in slowly as memoirs written by Anna’s relatives, carefully filling each hole in the story until you have presented with a wonderfully equal tapestry of history and fiction to sit and consider.
The author Maria Turchin has combined what is, to many, little known historical fact, alongside her own wonderfully created tale surrounding her characters. The tie between history and fiction is done seamlessly allowing you to enjoy the story without the complications that often come with a work of historical fiction. There are no large holes leaving you wondering how characters are connected, as Turchin has made sure to tie up all the loose ends perfectly. The historical individuals covered in this novel are well researched, and if you are the type that needs to, can be easily fact checked to see the author did her research. The fictional characters in Web of Humanity are another wonderful aspect of the story. Each one is wonderfully described both physically and regarding their personality, making them easy to imagine as you read through their tales.
There is one trigger warning, there is a short rape scene mention in one of the memoirs Anna reads, though it makes perfect sense historically and to the development of the character it involved, it could make some people uncomfortable.
All in all, Web of Humanity is a wonderful novel, and any fan of historical fiction should pick it up. This is a wild ride of emotions you feel with Anna as you travel with her.
You can find out more about Web of Humanity here. https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/web-of-humanity-maria-turchin#review