Daugh­ters of the Occu­pa­tion: A Nov­el of WWII

  • From the Publisher
January 23, 2022

Inspired by true events in World War II Latvia, an emo­tion­al­ly charged nov­el of sac­ri­fice, trau­ma, resilience, and sur­vival, as wit­nessed by three gen­er­a­tions of women. 

On one extra­or­di­nary day in 1940, Miri­am Talan’s com­fort­able life is shat­tered. While she gives birth to her sec­ond child, a son she and her hus­band, Max, name Monya, the Sovi­ets invade the Baltic state of Latvia and occu­py the cap­i­tal city of Riga, her home. Because the Talans are Jew­ish, the Sovi­ets con­fis­cate Max’s busi­ness and the family’s house and bank accounts, leav­ing them with nothing.

Then, the Nazis arrive. They kill Max and begin to round up Jews. Fear­ing for her new­born son and her young daugh­ter, Ilana, Miri­am asks her loy­al house­keep­er to hide them and con­ceal their Jew­ish roots to keep them safe until the sav­agery ends.

Three decades lat­er, in Chica­go, 24-year-old Sarah Byrne is mourn­ing the untime­ly death of her moth­er, Ilana. Sarah’s estranged grand­moth­er, Miri­am, attends the funer­al, open­ing the door to shock­ing fam­i­ly secrets. Sarah probes Miri­am for infor­ma­tion about the past, but it is only when Miri­am is in the hos­pi­tal, deliri­ous with fever, that she begs Sarah to find the son she left behind in Latvia.

Trav­el­ing to the Sovi­et satel­lite state, Sarah begins her search with the help of Roger, a charis­mat­ic Russ­ian-speak­ing pro­fes­sor. But as they come clos­er to the truth, she real­izes her quest may have dis­as­trous consequences.

A mag­nif­i­cent, emo­tion­al­ly pow­er­ful sto­ry of fam­i­ly and the lin­ger­ing dev­as­ta­tion of war, The Daugh­ters of the Occu­pa­tion explores how trau­ma is passed down in fam­i­lies and illu­mi­nates the strength and grace that can be shared by generations.

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