Against a vivid backdrop of history, Danielle Steel tells a compelling story of love and war, acts of faith and acts of betrayal...
For the Wittgenstein family, the summer of 1915 was a time of both prosperity and unease. But for eldest daughter Beata, it was a time of awakening. By glimmering Lake Geneva, the quiet Jewish beauty met a young French officer and fell in love. Knowing that her parents would never accept her marriage to a Catholic, Beata followed her heart anyway.
But Beata’s past would stay with her, and when Europe faces war once again, Beata must watch in horror as Hitler’s terror threatens her family - even her daughter Amadea, who has taken on the vows of a Carmelite nun.
As family and friends are swept away without a trace, Amadea is forced into hiding. Thus begins a harrowing journey of survival, first in the Nazi death camps and then as she escapes into the heart of the French resistance and finds a renewed sense of purpose.
In the darkest moments of fear, Amada will feel her mother’s loving strength as the voices of lost loved ones echo powerfully in her life. She will meet an extraordinary man, British secret agent Rupert Montgomery, who will help her discover her place in an unbreakable chain between generations…between her lost family and her future.
From the elegant rituals of Europe’s prewar aristocracy to the brutal desperation of Germany’s death camps, Danielle Steel weaves an intricate tapestry of a mother’s love, a daughter’s courage…and the unwavering faith that sustained them - even in history’s darkest hour.
About the Author
Danielle Steel is one of the world's most popular authors, with over 560 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Bungalow 2, Sisters, H.R.H., Coming Out, The House, Toxic Bachelors, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death.
Skipping the glamour and glitz this time around, Steel (most recently, Second Chance, p. 473) makes a well-meaning attempt at a serious WWII tale (with star-crossed lovers, of course). Steel begins her tale, however, in 1915, some months after the Great War has begun. Beata Wittgenstein, the daughter of an upper-class, patriotic German-Jewish family, falls in love with a man she meets by chance: Antoine de Vallerand, who's Catholic and French. While he's handsome, brilliant, and charming, Antoine is not at all the sort of suitor the Wittgensteins had in mind for their lovely, studious, dutiful daughter. The Vallerand family is equally outraged. Nonetheless, Beata converts to Catholicism to marry Antoine, though her father, Jacob, declares his daughter dead to him from that day on. She decides not to tell her children that she is Jewish-a fateful decision for her daughter Amadea. Years later, Antoine breaks his neck in a riding accident, dying instantly. The grieving Beata becomes deeply religious and urges Amadea to live up to her name and enter a convent, though she still knows nothing of her Jewish background. When the Wittgensteins are killed during Kristallnacht, Beata confesses everything to her other daughter, Daphne, but not Amadea, hoping to protect her. Later, as WWII rages, Amadea is singled out by an unknown informer, rounded up with other French Jews, and sent to Theriesenstadt. She escapes and joins the French Resistance (where she meets handsome Serge, underground leader). Then, burned and paralyzed by a railroad bomb, she is airlifted to England (where she meets handsome Rupert, who's looking after a houseful of war orphans). Will she ever walk again? Will she return to the convent? Or marry Rupert? Get out your hankies, ladies. Steel put her all into this one. (Kirkus Reviews)
Number Of Pages: 492
Published: 27th November 2005
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.8 x 10.8 x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.252
Edition Number: 1