At the outbreak of the Second World War, she volunteers as an ambulance driver, finding joy both in helping the wounded during the Blitz and also in her friends among the other drivers in the Bloomsbury Auxiliary Ambulance Depot.
Maisie is at the Cafe de Paris nightclub when it is bombed. In the chaos, she attempts to help an injured man, and by this charitable act she becomes mixed up in what may well be a murder. A series of incidents, all connected to a handsome, arrogant American, throw Maisie's life into a dangerous spin. Is anything what it seems in wartime? With one serious misjudgement, Maisie risks losing everything she holds dear...
In London, eighteen-year-old Susan Banks longs to do her duty in the war. Her secret ambition is to learn to fly - to serve her country and realise her dream. But she knows it is out of the question for a girl like her; a foundling, unwanted and unloved and dependent on strangers for her welfare.
Just as she fears she will be trapped forever in a life of servitude and loneliness, she meets Tony Richards, a flying instructor based in Hampshire. And when she is forced to flee London, she heads out into the country. She is taken in by the kindly landlord of the local inn and his daughter. As Susan works hard to earn her keep, and her friendship with Tony - now recalled to duty - blossoms into love, she dares to hope that things are at last looking up for her. But then she receives devastating news - Tony is missing in action. And Susan wonders if she'll ever see the man she loves again and realise her dream of becoming a Spitfire girl...
In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.
Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.
When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.
Paullina Simons’s internationally bestselling blockbuster The Bronze Horseman told the heart-soaring tale of a young Russian woman’s transcendent love affair with a Red Army soldier during the siege of Leningrad in the dark days of World War Two. The epic story continues in Tatiana and Alexander—a novel of the enduring power of love and commitment against the devastating forces of war and the equally dangerous forces of keeping the peace. A sweeping, intensely compelling romantic historical saga, Tatiana and Alexander is a Russian Thorn Birds and a truly unforgettable reading experience.
‘A cleverly crafted novel and an enthralling story... A triumph.’ DINAH JEFFERIES
A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries . . .
Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.
Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger . . .
Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret . . .
Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.
Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Dinah Jefferies.
Distant, silent, often drunk, Walter Urban is a difficult man to have as a father. But his son—the narrator of this slim, harrowing novel—is curious about Walter’s experiences during World War II, and so makes him a present of a blank notebook in which to write down his memories. Walter dies, however, leaving nothing but the barest skeleton of a story on those pages, leading his son to fill in the gaps himself, rightly or wrongly, with what he can piece together of his father’s early life.
This, then, is the story of Walter and his dangerously outspoken friend Friedrich Caroli, seventeen-year-old trainee milkers on a dairy farm in northern Germany who are tricked into volunteering for the army during the spring of 1945: the last, and in many ways the worst, months of the war. The men are driven to the point of madness by what they experience, and when Friedrich finally deserts his post, Walter is forced to do the unthinkable.
Told in a remarkable impressionistic voice, focusing on the tiny details and moments of grotesque beauty that flower even in the most desperate situations, Ralf Rothmann’s To Die in Spring “ushers in the post–[Günter] Grass era with enormous power” (Die Zeit).
A literary prize-winner that has been an explosive bestseller all over the world, Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones has been called “a brilliant Holocaust novel… a world-class masterpiece of astonishing brutality, originality, and force,” and “relentlessly fascinating, ambitious beyond scope,” by Michael Korda (Ike, With Wings Like Eagles). Destined to join the pantheon of classic epics of war such as Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, The Kindly Ones offers a profound and gripping experience of the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust.
Thomas Heiselberg has built a career in Berlin as a market researcher for an American advertising company.
In Leningrad, twenty-two-year-old Sasha Weissberg has grown up eavesdropping on the intellectual conversations in her parents’ literary salon.
They each have grand plans for their lives. Neither of them thinks about politics too much, but after catastrophe strikes they will have no choice.
Thomas puts his research skills to work elaborating Nazi propaganda. Sasha persuades herself that working as a literary editor of confessions for Stalin’s secret police is the only way to save her family.
When destiny brings them together, they will have to face the consequences of the decisions they have made.
Nir Baram’s Good People has been showered with praise in many countries. With its acute awareness of the individual amid towering historical landscapes, it is a tour de force: sparkling, erudite, a glimpse into the abyss.
Nir Baram was born into a political family in Jerusalem in 1976. His grandfather and father were both ministers in Israeli Labor Party governments. He has worked as a journalist and an editor, and as an advocate for equal rights for Palestinians. He began publishing fiction when he was twenty-two, and is the author of five novels, including The Remaker of Dreams, Good People and World Shadow. His novels have been translated into more than ten languages and received critical acclaim around the world. He has been shortlisted several times for the Sapir Prize and in 2010 received the Prime Minister’s Award for Hebrew Literature. Text will publish a work of reportage by Nir Baram in 2017.
‘Written with great talent, momentum and ingenuity...it expands the borders of literature to reveal new landscapes.’ Amos Oz
‘One of the most intriguing writers in Israeli literature today.’ Haaretz
‘Good People rewards the reader’s patience while mining a tragic sense of irony that extends all the way to its title.’ Big Issue
‘Baram uses intense geographical plotting and is chillingly eloquent...[Good People] is tremendous. I read it in two sittings and I learned a lot. How does a man in his early 30s know how to write like this?’ Australian
‘Good People is a richly textured panorama of German and Russian life...This ample novel lives most memorably through Baram’s vignettes of people, dwellings, cities, landscapes and the like that seem to lie, at times, at the periphery of its central concerns.’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald
‘A groundbreaker...Riveting reading.’ Qantas Magazine
‘Good People is the tale of ordinary, middle-class lives sucked into a moral maelstrom. It is compulsive and profoundly disturbing.’ Sunday Star Times
‘Astonishingly powerful...[A] compelling, important story.’ New Zealand Listener
‘Chillingly captures the terrors and tensions of life under Stalin and Hitler. The chapters set in Russia are particularly effective, carrying the suspense of a spy thriller. Nir Baram explores the frightening speed and ease with which ordinary people become functionaries in totalitarian societies.’ TLS
‘Good People is a subtle, original, and fascinating take on the wartime story. We forget that the brutality was as much a bureaucratic effort as a military one. We forget that even the most massive, most evil forces are comprised of moving human parts. If Good People has a moral, it is this: the totalitarian state will attempt to possess the individual by co-opting his (relatively innocent) instincts—ambition, greed, security and love. The question at heart is if it is possible within an evil system to be good.’ Jewish Book Council
By July 1914, the ties between Kezia Marchant and Thea Brissenden, friends since girlhood, have become strained—by Thea’s passionate embrace of women’s suffrage, and by the imminent marriage of Kezia to Thea’s brother, Tom, who runs the family farm. When Kezia and Tom wed just a month before war is declared between Britain and Germany, Thea’s gift to Kezia is a book on household management—a veiled criticism of the bride’s prosaic life to come. Yet when Tom enlists to fight for his country and Thea is drawn reluctantly onto the battlefield, the farm becomes Kezia’s responsibility. Each must find a way to endure the ensuing cataclysm and turmoil.
As Tom marches to the front lines, and Kezia battles to keep her ordered life from unraveling, they hide their despair in letters and cards filled with stories woven to bring comfort. Even Tom’s fellow soldiers in the trenches enter and find solace in the dream world of Kezia’s mouth-watering, albeit imaginary meals. But will well-intended lies and self-deception be of use when they come face to face with the enemy?
Published to coincide with the centennial of the Great War, The Care and Management of Lies paints a poignant picture of love and friendship strained by the pain of separation and the brutal chaos of battle. Ultimately, it raises profound questions about conflict, belief, and love that echo in our own time.
“The black earth was already baking and the sun was just rising when they mounted their horses and rode across the grasslands towards the horizon on fire . . .”
Imprisoned in the Gulags for a crime he did not commit, Benya Golden joins a penal battalion made up of Cossacks and convicts to fight the Nazis. He enrolls in the Russian cavalry, and on a hot summer day in July 1942, he and his band of brothers are sent on a suicide mission behind enemy lines—but is there a traitor among them? The only thing Benya can truly trust is his horse, Silver Socks, and that he will find no mercy in onslaught of Hitler’s troops as they push East.
Spanning ten epic days, between Benya’s war on the grasslands of southern Russia and Stalin’s intrigues in the Kremlin, between Benya’s intense affair with an Italian nurse and a romance between Stalin’s daughter and a war correspondent, this is a sweeping story of passion, bravery, and survival—where betrayal is a constant companion, death just a heartbeat away, and love, however fleeting, offers a glimmer of redemption.