Four generations of women experience love, loss, war, and hope from the rise of Nazism to the Cuban Revolution and finally, the fall of the Berlin Wall in this sweeping novel from the bestselling author of the “timely must-read” (People) The German Girl.
Berlin, 1931: Ally Keller, a talented young poet, is alone and scared when she gives birth to a mixed-race daughter she names Lilith. As the Nazis rise to power, Ally knows she must keep her baby in the shadows to protect her against Hitler’s deadly ideology of Aryan purity. But as she grows, it becomes more and more difficult to keep Lilith hidden so Ally sets in motion a dangerous and desperate plan to send her daughter across the ocean to safety.
Havana, 1958: Now an adult, Lilith has few memories of her mother or her childhood in Germany. Besides, she’s too excited for her future with her beloved Martin, a Cuban pilot with strong ties to the Batista government. But as the flames of revolution ignite, Lilith and her newborn daughter, Nadine, find themselves at a terrifying crossroads.
Berlin, 1988: As a scientist in Berlin, Nadine is dedicated to ensuring the dignity of the remains of all those who were murdered by the Nazis. Yet she has spent her entire lifetime avoiding the truth about her own family’s history. It takes her daughter, Luna, to encourage Nadine to uncover the truth about the choices her mother and grandmother made to ensure the survival of their children. And it will fall to Luna to come to terms with a shocking betrayal that changes everything she thought she knew about her family’s past.
Separated by time but united by sacrifice, four women embark on journeys of self-discovery and find themselves to be living testaments to the power of motherly love.
Correa (The Daughter's Tale) unfurls a stunning multigenerational story involving WWII Germany and the Cuban Revolution. In 1931 Berlin, poet Ally Keller gives birth to Lilith, her daughter with jazz musician Marcus, a Black German man. After Marcus goes missing, and as Germany marches toward war, Ally fears Lilith may be targeted by the Nazis because of her skin color, so she begs her Jewish neighbors, Beatrice and Albert Herzog, to take seven-year-old Lilith with them to Cuba. As Lilith adapts to life in Cuba with the Herzogs, she befriends Martín Bernal, and they eventually marry. But Martín's alliance with Batista's government puts him in danger when Fidel Castro comes to power, forcing him to leave Lilith and their daughter Nadine alone after he is captured, and Lilith arranges for Nadine to leave Cuba for the U.S., where she's adopted by an American couple. Years later, Nadine attends college in Germany, and while working as a scientist at a research center in Berlin, her interest in her heritage leads her to information about her birth mother's early years. Correa makes palpable the sacrifices made by Ally and Lilith for their children's survival, and the taut pacing keeps the pages flying. Readers will be deeply moved.