My Parents’ Dark Room – Developing the Past (2019)

What is it about?

When his mother moves into a care home, Jonas, an expatriate German history teacher, inherits an old cigar box containing relics from his childhood. However, on closer inspection, it also contains more sinister items. Will the page torn out of his mother’s 1945 diary and his father’s undeveloped film roll reveal any clues about his parents’ role in the Nazi party? And where is the rest of the diary? Who has hidden it all these years and why? Jonas finds himself at the start of a journey which will lead him to discover some unsettling secrets. Should he have opened Pandora’s box?


Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews


4.0 out of 5 stars Looking back, looking forward…

6 May 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

I am conscious of giving away the unraveling of the storyline here, but suffice to say that I enjoyed this book immensely. One gets the feeling that there is an autobiographical bent to this story, as it contains a lot of detail surrounding Germany’s recent (twentieth-century) past, but this is not explicitly stated. Part-historical novel, part-thriller, part-social history, My Parents’ Darkroom held my interest from the start. I wonder if there is a follow-up!

john hammond smith

4.0 out of 5 stars The message lies in the intriguing title

9 May 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

A most enjoyable read. A skillful and fascinating entwinement of a personal family memoir, with historical events during and just after the war- as the author describes it, “history from the bottom up”. Jonas, having inherited a cigar box, from his mother, of childhood memorabilia, sets of to explore his family’s past, with unexpected and shocking results. And throw into the mix, a touching and frustrating love story, and you have the recipe for thrilling page turner.
Highly recommended.

Amazon Customer

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended

16 May 2019

Format: Paperback

My parents darkroom is a well structured narrative soundly grounded in its historical context and based on the author’s personal experience of a young impressionable youth growing up in post war Germany. The pace of the narrative switching between past and present kept me turning the pages until the last.
Immersive and stimulating with well-formed characters. A thoroughly enjoyable read. The novel deserves a wide audience.
Mike Roe

Amazon Customer

4.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for answers that will never come.

9 June 2019

Format: Paperback

A thoroughly enjoyable read. The impression I get is the authors’ search for his own answers relating to his childhood and life growing up in post war Germany. I hope that that this story will help to bring some element of closure, however as the story itself draws to an end, I get the impression that the the father-son relationship will never get the chance to be evaluated and explained from both points of view. Both history and the future needs more stories like this.

Chris Holt

5.0 out of 5 stars A book I simply couldn’t put down.

8 June 2019

Format: Paperback

This book had it all, twists, turns and a love story. For me, hearing about the war from a German perspective had me gripped and wanting more. A real book you can’t put down. I’m hoping there will be a sequel!