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Three main characters are intricately woven together in an uncertain time and in an unusual way to create a beautiful yet poignant tale about love and loss.

Erin Woodward, InStyle Magazine, UK

This book is incredibly well written, emotionally moving, and has fully developed, flawed characters.

Literary Quicksand

A riveting story, this tells a tale of love, loss, heartbreak, sacrifice, death and cruelty among various other emotions.

Red Pillows

"This is undeniably one of the most moving pieces of literature that I have ever read. I shall never forget the stories detailed in this wonderful work!"

"The three main characters, Willem, Elsi and Matilda are very vivid characters, which I attribute to Gemma Liviero as a very gifted writer. The plot is excellent, the book is very well written, and I will definitely read more of Liviero's work."

"One of the best works of fiction on WWII I have read. It is gut-wrenching yet heart-warming. This page-turner will make you angry, happy, afraid, relieved – so, so many emotions! Three seemingly disparate stories come together for a climactic, surprising finale. The tender epilogue is a beautiful testament to the power of gratitude and forgiveness."

Amazon Reviews
(read more on Amazon site)

"This was a beautifully written novel and captured the different aspects of the war." 

"Each character does not give up and faces the reality of the human condition. It draws from hope and love and the fight to survive. It left me in tears and to keep the fight in me."

"I highly recommend this book. The story is fast paced and engrossing. You will not want to put it down."

Goodreads (read these and more on Goodreads site)


"Liviero writes a dramatic, heartfelt tale based on a little-known aspect of the Holocaust...An absorbing account of loyalty and love in wartime, freshened by unusual historical events."

Kirkus Reviews

"Gripping and fresh...a skilfully told, poignantly drawn narrative. The story conveys all the fear and confusion of living under a cruel dictatorship, but also how love and loyalty sustain and conquer."

The Courier Mail

"...Liviero has chosen a unique way of presenting the narrative... The futility of racial intolerance, hate, and war are vividly brought to life, particularly by the attention-grabbing ending. Recommended.

Historical Novel Society

"Beautifully written."

"An insightful story, gripping and interesting. Great characters that you can relate to, an unusual angle to look at the war. A great read."

"I literally devoured this book, it was so good I did not want to put it down. Fluid writing...Great story writing."

"Where to start? This book is so gripping that not only is it hard to put down, it follows you throughout the day even when not reading it, as it's so hard to get it out of your mind. "

Amazon Reviews (read more on Amazon site)

"It is a true masterpiece and I am sorry it is over. I lost a lot of sleep reading this book. I could not put it down."

"I would highly recommend this book."

"I could not put this book down. Beautifully written but terribly sad, it touched my heart and I'm certain I will never forget it."

"'Pastel Orphans' is a truly magnificent, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching novel. The simplistic style in which the stories of the main characters is relayed serves to captivate and horrify the reader in equal measure."

Goodreads (read these and more on Goodreads site)

Juli Witte's A Universe in Words:

© Gemma Liviero 2013