Our parents were taken. And if we go home, the Nazis will take us too…’
Hamburg 1938. Fifteen-year-old Asta is hurrying home from school with her twin brother Jurgen. The mood in the city is tense – synagogues have been smashed with sledgehammers, and Asta is too frightened to laugh as she used to.
But when she and Jurgen are stopped in the street by a friend, her world implodes further. Her Jewish parents have been dragged into the streets by German soldiers and if she and Jurgen return to their house, they will be taken too.
Heartbroken at the loss of her parents, Asta knows they must flee. With her beloved brother, she must make the perilous journey across Germany and into Denmark to reach their only surviving relative, her aunt Trine, a woman they barely know.
Jammed into a truck with other refugees, Asta prays for a miracle to save herself and Jurgen. Crossing the border is a crime punishable by death, and what she and Jurgen must embark on a dangerous crossing on foot, through the snowy forest dividing Germany and Denmark. And when barking dogs and armed soldiers find Jurgen and Asta escapes, she must hold on to hope no matter what. One day she will find her twin, the other half of herself. Whatever the price she has to pay…
A gripping and poignant read that will break your heart and give you hope. Fans of Fiona Valpy, Kristin Hannah and Catherine Hokin will be gripped by the story of a brave brother and sister seeking safety during one of the darkest times in our history.
No. of pages:- 266 pages
Date published:- will be published January 12th 2021
Genre:- Historical Fiction
Thank You Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC! This book is based on my honest opinion.
I am a Holocaust fiction fan and so I was really grateful and privileged to read this book. In a nutshell, the story is divided between the present day set in 1990’s in Sweden and the past, setting back to 1938, Hamburg, Germany. In present day Sweden, Ingrid is helping out her grandfather, who is suffering from the early stages of dementia, who hated German language and who insisted that Ingrid reminds him of Asta. Then Ingrid later on finds out that her grandfather was actually a German Jew, who lived in Hamburg, Germany with his twin sister Asta and their parents.
Now in the past, Asta and Jurgen are carefree children who played pranks for fun. When Hitler came to power in 1933, things start changing for both Asta and Jurgen as they faced discrimination due to the fact that they are Jews. Things start heating up with Kristallnacht and their parents taken to Dachau Concentration Camp, the twins with the help of a person they have been playing prank on escape Germany and begins the arduous journey from Germany to Denmark through a forest range, along with other Jews. But towards the border, the Jews get caught and Asta manages to escape and enter into Denmark with the help of a man named Kalle.
This book, just like any Holocaust books I have read is very emotional. The story talks about the courage and bravery the twins faced together, during the ruthless rule of the Nazis in Germany and how they overcame it together, without having to go to a concentration camp. The author has done a tremendous research on Holocaust and kudos to the author for writing such a good book! (this is the first book I have read from this author). I like the sibling relationship between Asta and Jurgen. The ending was shocking and very sad that I was teary at the end. I simply couldn’t put this book town, and I felt I was drawn back to that time.
Overall, this book is an emotional and gripping book, that is unputdownable. Worth five stars!
This book will be released on 12th January 2021 so you can pre-order your copy now on Amazon!
Lily Graham is the author of the bestselling, The Child of Auschwitz, The Paris Secret and The Island Villa, among others. Her books have been translated into numerous languages, including French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Turkish.
She grew up in South Africa, and was a journalist for a decade before giving it up to write fiction full time. Her first three novels were lighter, women’s fiction, but when she wrote The Island Villa, a story about a secret Jewish community living on the tiny island of Formentera during the Spanish Inquisition, she switched to historical fiction and hasn’t quite looked back since.
She lives now in the Suffolk coast with her husband and English bulldog, Fudge. Her latest book, The Flight of Swallows, set in Denmark and Sweden, will be out in January 2021.