Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt

In his brilliant new novel, Jason Hewitt tells the story of one of the 11.5 million refugees in Europe immediately after the end of  World War II. His name is Owen.

In the spring of 1945, Owen wakes up in a field he doesn’t recognize, in clothes that don’t fit and no memory of the last few years. He is surrounded by wreckage from a train and countless dead bodies. Still, the only thought he has is “find Max”. Owen may not know where he is but he knows his brother is missing so he starts to walk.

Owen is joined on his journey by a young Czech boy who is searching for his own brother. They soon become a group of four as they try to find safety and food during one of the most difficult times the world has ever known. Devastation Road is a very different novel about World War II. It’s not about spies and battlefields. Instead, the story asks “what happens when you wake up after a disaster and you’re the survivor? What’s next?” What history tells us and what this book so wonderfully describes is that for the 11.5 million refugees in 1945, you do a whole lot of walking.

~ Leslie W.