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Brianna Labuskes | Two Sisters, a Horrific Betrayal and an Extraordinary Protest Against the Nazis

The Lost Book of Bonn
Brianna Labuskes




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March 2024
On Sale: March 19, 2024
Featuring: Emmy Clarke
384 pages
ISBN: 0063259281
EAN: 9780063259287
Kindle: B0C8JC8Q8B
Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Brianna Labuskes:
The Truth You Told, September 2024
The Lost Book of Bonn, March 2024
Add to review list
The Lies You Wrote, December 2023
See It End, April 2023


1--What is the title of your latest release?


2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

A librarian finds a book of poetry while working with Monuments Men to return Nazi-plundered books to their rightful owners after World War II. The hunt leads her to two sisters, a horrific betrayal and an extraordinary protest against the Nazis at the height of the war.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

The people and events I wanted to center the book around were all set in Germany. The Edelweiss Pirates—a group of young, anti-fascist Germans—were primarily based in areas such as Cologne. Bonn is a small town outside the city with beautiful hiking paths, which were favored by the Pirates. The Rose Street Protest took place in Berlin, and the warehouse where the Monuments Men worked was just outside Frankfurt.

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

Absolutely. Bonn has three protagonists: Emmy, Annelise and Christina. Annelise and Christina are sisters who are flawed in different ways: Annelise is righteous whereas Christina can be easily led to make bad decisions. But both are kind and courageous at the end of the day. Emmy, meanwhile, is thoughtful and always generous to herself and her loved ones.

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

Emmy: Intelligent, optimistic, haunted

Annelise: Rebellious, bull-headed, brave

Christina: Self-conscious, loving, single-minded.

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

The edelweiss flower, which grows high in the Alps, in eras past, became a symbol of adventure and strength, despite the fact that the flower itself looks delicate. Men who sought the attention of their beloveds would climb up to procure one and bring it back in a show of manliness. The Edelweiss Pirates used the name of the flower for their group for many of the same reasons.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

I wait until I’m done. I call my first draft a very detailed outline, which I then go brutally attack on the second go-round.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

Seafood, which I’m very bad at cooking myself

9--Describe your writing space/office!

I often work outside! I have a beautiful porch that lets me experience the most gorgeous sunsets. My inside desk is one of my favorite pieces of furniture I own though—it’s multi-colored green and blue and above it have a corkboard holding meaningful things I’ve collected or been given in my life, such as concert tickets and postcards.

10--Who is an author you admire?

Kate Quinn. Her dialogue and banter is unmatched, as is her ability to create unique, feisty, interesting female characters.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn, was one of the first historical fiction novels I read. From then on, I was hooked and it led me to exploring the genre myself.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

I was on vacation with my parents in Savannah, Georgia. I was running in and out of art museums and historic churches to talk to my agent and also my now-editor. My parents were giddy to get to experience it all with me.

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

Historical fiction and psychological thrillers (it is absolutely a tie!).

14--What’s your favorite movie?

While You Were Sleeping—I am a hopeless romantic and a devotee of Sandra Bullock.

15--What is your favorite season?

Spring. Everything is fresh and new.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

A nice dinner out with friends that bleeds into long discussion by candlelight.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Boys on the Boat. The movie tells the story of the U.S. rowing team at the 1936 Olympics in Germany. Any fan of historical fiction will love it.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?


19--What do you do when you have free time?

I hike with my pup, Jinx. We love to go explore new trails.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

My next historical is set in a completely new era—1920s Montana. But it focuses on a librarian who brings books to mining and logging camps, so there are similar themes to my previous work.

THE LOST BOOK OF BONN by Brianna Labuskes

The Lost Book of Bonn

For fans of The Rose Code and The Librarian Spy comes another literary themed historical novel from the author of The Librarian of Burned Books.

Germany, 1946: Emmy Clarke is a librarian not a soldier. But that doesn’t stop the Library of Congress from sending her overseas to Germany to help the Monuments Men retrieve and catalog precious literature that was plundered by the Nazis. The Offenbach Archival Depot and its work may get less attention than returning art to its rightful owners, but for Emmy, who sees the personalized messages on the inside of the books and the notes in margins of pages, it feels just as important.

On Emmy’s first day at work, she finds a poetry collection by Rainer Maria Rilke, and on the title page is a handwritten dedication: “To Annelise, my brave Edelweiss Pirate.” Emmy is instantly intrigued by the story behind the dedication and becomes determined to figure out what happened.

The hunt for the rightful owner of the book leads Emmy to two sisters, a horrific betrayal, and an extraordinary protest against the Nazis that was held in Berlin at the height of the war. Nearly a decade earlier, hundreds of brave women gathered in the streets after their Jewish husbands were detained by the Gestapo. Through freezing rain and RAF bombings, the women faced down certain death and did what so few others dared to do under the Third Reich. They said no.

Emmy grapples with her own ghosts as she begins to wonder if she’s just chasing two more. What she finds instead is a powerful story of love, forgiveness, and courage that brings light to even the darkest of postwar days.


Women's Fiction Historical | Historical [William Morrow Paperbacks, On Sale: March 19, 2024, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780063259287 / eISBN: 9780063259294]

Buy THE LOST BOOK OF BONNAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Brianna Labuskes

Brianna Labuskes

Brianna Labuskes’ life-long dream was to join the ranks of the superstar women who penned the romance novels — from historicals to contemporaries and everything in between — of which she could never quite get enough. She tries to write the books she wants to read, with spunky heroines who save the day while their heroes watch in awe and admiration. When she’s not writing, you can find Brianna playing with her two adorable nieces, editing health care policy news and watching too much Netflix. She also loves travel, feminism and country music.





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