The German Girl

Atria Books  2016

 

In 1939, before everything changed, Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life. Now the streets of Berlin are draped with red, white, and black flags; their fine possessions are hauled away, and they are no longer welcome in the places that once felt like home. Hannah and her best friend Leo make a pact: come what may, they promise to have a future together.

A glimmer of hope appears when their parents discover the Saint Louis, a transatlantic liner that can give Jews safe passage to Cuba. But the ship that was once their salvation seems likely to become their death sentence. Hannah and Leo must face the grim reality that they could be torn apart. Their future is unknown, and their only choice will have an impact in generations to come.

Decades later in New York City, Anna Rosen receives a mysterious envelope from Hannah, a great-aunt she has never met but who raised her deceased father. In an attempt to piece together her father's past, Anna travels to Havana to meet Hannah. Bringing together the pain of the past with the mysteries of the present, Hannah gives Anna a sense of their shared histories, honoring those they loved and cruelly lost.



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