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The Star on the Grave : A novel inspired by the 'Japanese Schindler', written by a woman who owes him her life - Linda Margolin Royal

The Star on the Grave

A novel inspired by the 'Japanese Schindler', written by a woman who owes him her life

By: Linda Margolin Royal

Paperback | 30 January 2024

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In 1940, as the Nazis sweep toward Lithuania, Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara defies his government and secretly issues visas to fleeing Jewish refugees. After the war, Sugihara is dismissed and disappears into obscurity.

Three decades later, in Australia, Rachel Margol is shocked when her engagement reveals a long-held family secret: she is Jewish. As she grapples with this deception and the dysfunction it has caused, unspoken tragedies from the past begin to come to light. When an opportunity arrives to visit Chiune Sugihara, the man who risked his life to save the Margols during World War II, Rachel becomes determined to meet him. But will a journey to Japan, and the secrets it uncovers, heal the family or fracture them for good?

The Star on the Grave is a powerful and moving novel inspired by the true story of Chiune Sugihara, and the thousands of people – including the author – who owe him their lives.

About the Author

Linda Margolin Royal was born in Sydney, forever thankful her father and grandparents received life-saving transit visas from Chiune Sugihara in 1940, which enabled them to enter Japan and escape the Holocaust; and ultimately meant they could find a permanent, safe home in Australia in 1941. The remainder of her family numbering in the hundreds were murdered in concentration camps. This work is therefore a labour of love to which she is now devoting her life.

She trained as a graphic designer and then copywriter, and spent 30 years in the advertising industry both in Australia and the US, writing TV, radio and press for major multinationals. Her first instinct was to write her family's story as a film, which is currently in development; and the book grew organically from this screenplay.

Linda's creative bent extends to abstract painting and drawing from live models - skills she has carried through life from her time in design school.

The Star on the Grave is her first novel.

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