Author: Katrin Schumann
Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 1, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Amazon Publishing
Book Rating: 8.5/10
From the bestselling author of The Forgotten Hours comes an unforgettable story of one woman’s journey to reclaim what she lost in a country torn apart by the devastating legacy of WWII.
On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man.
When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child.
Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she’s never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved’s fate, whatever the cost.
Captivating, pensive, and absorbing!
This Terrible Beauty is an intriguing, compelling tale that sweeps you away to East Germany following WWII when the country is still reeling with the aftermaths of war, and the new Soviet rule is causing repression, economic instability, political upheaval, social injustice, and lack of freedom.
The prose is evocative and vivid. The characters are lonely, complex, and vulnerable. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a moving tale about war, loss, familial relationships, heartbreak, guilt, desperation, betrayal, resilience, courage, hope, forbidden love, and the importance of creative expression.
Overall, This Terrible Beauty is a beautifully written, poignant, nostalgic tale that is a lovely blend of historical facts, thought-provoking fiction, and intense emotion that reminds us of the enduring power of love and the self-sacrificing, unbreakable bonds between a mother and her child.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.