Of everyone in her complicated family, Eva was closest to her grandfather: a charismatic painter and a keeper of secrets. So when he dies, she’s hit by a greater loss – of the questions he never answered and the past he never shared.
It’s then she finds the letter from the Jewish museum in Berlin. They have discovered the testimony he gave after his forced labour service in Hungary, which took him to the death camps and then to England as a refugee. This is how he survived.
But there is a deeper story that Eva will unravel – of how her grandfather learnt to live afterwards. As she confronts the lies that have haunted her family, their identity shifts and her own takes shape. The testament is in her hands.
Praise from the Desmond Elliott Prize
‘It is a brave writer who takes on the Holocaust, with the weight of history and of literature bearing down on them. But Kim Sherwood shows a quiverful of attributes, finely honed, to meet the challenge: well-aimed researches; a nicely targeted approach; a steady, pragmatic stance; most of all, the vision to perceive her objective afresh.’
About the Author
Kim Sherwood was born in Camden in 1989 and lives in Bath. She studied Creative Writing at UEA, is now Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England, and teaches prisoners. Her pieces have appeared in Mslexia, Lighthouse and Going Down Swinging. Testament won the 2016 Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts.