Inspired by a true story, this new historical fiction novel from the acclaimed author of The Magdalen Girls explores World War II and its aftermath from a compelling new angle, as a young German writer exiled for her ideas flees her country and her Nazi-supporting husband and must rebuild her life during the Cold War.
1920s Germany: Though the world has changed in the wake of the Great War, it is still ruled by men. Even a woman as resourceful and intelligent as Niki Rittenhaus needs alliances in order to survive. Her marriage to Rickard Länger, a movie producer for Berlin’s Passport Pictures, seems convenient for them both. When Rickard succumbs to increasing pressure from the Nazis to make propaganda movies, a horrified Niki turns away from her own film aspirations and instead, begins to write.
Niki’s first novel, The Berlin Woman, is published under a pseudonym to great success. But Niki knows she cannot stay anonymous for long. The Nazis are cementing their power over Germany—and over her husband. Though she succeeds in escaping Rickard, he directs Hitler’s Brownshirts to do the unthinkable: kidnap their daughter. With her books blacklisted, her life in danger, and Europe descending into war, Niki travels to Amsterdam, joins the Dutch Resistance, and then returns to war-torn Berlin determined to claim freedom for herself and her child, and to write her own story at last.
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