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.
Katrin Schumann was born in Germany and grew up in Brooklyn and London—as a consequence, most of her writing explores our search for a sense of belonging, and the struggle to define ourselves in the context of our circumstances. She now lives in Boston and Key West, and is the Program Coordinator of the Key West Literary Seminar and Workshops. Her work has been featured multiple times on TODAY and in Woman’s Day, The London Times and on NPR, as well as other national and international media. For the past ten years she's been teaching writing, most recently at GrubStreet and at local prisons through PEN New England. She was granted the Kogan Media Award for my work at National Public Radio and received academic scholarships to Oxford and Stanford Universities. More recently, she's been awarded writing residencies at the VCCA, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony and Vermont Studio Center.
Whitney Scharer's short fiction, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous publications including Vogue, The Telegraph, The Tatler, and Bellevue Literary Review. Her first novel, The Age of Light, based on the life of pioneering photographer Lee Miller, was published by Little, Brown (US) and Picador (UK) in February, 2019, and was a Boston Globe and IndieNext bestseller and named one of the best books of 2019 by Parade, Glamour Magazine, Real Simple, Refinery 29, Booklist and Yahoo. Internationally, The Age of Light won Le prix Rive Gauche à Paris, was a coups de couer selection from the American Library in Paris, and has been published or is forthcoming from over a dozen other countries. Whitney has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for the Arts and Ragdale, a St. Botolph Emerging Artists Grant, and a Somerville Arts Council Artists Fellowship. She teaches fiction in the Boston area and is a co-founder of the Arlington Author Salon, a quarterly reading series. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, MA, where she is at work on her second novel.
One of the Best Books of the Year: Parade, Glamour, Real Simple, Refinery29, Yahoo! Lifestyle. "A startlingly modern love story and a mesmerizing portrait of a woman's self-transformation from muse to artist." --Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere