From the New York Times bestselling novelist Meg Waite Clayton comes a powerful novel, set in the pre-World War II era, based on the true story of the Kindertransport rescue of ten thousand children from Nazi-occupied Europe--and of one brave woman who helped them escape.
In 1936, the Nazis are little more than brutish boors to fifteen-year-old Stephan Neuman, a budding playwright and the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family in Vienna, Austria. Stephan's best friend and companion is the brilliant Zofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. But the two adolescents' carefree innocence is shattered when Hitler's forces advance.
There is hope in the darkness, though. Truus Wijsmuller, a childless Dutchwoman, risks her life to smuggle children out of Nazi-occupied lands to the nations that will take them. It is a mission that becomes even more dangerous as countries across Europe close their borders to the growing number of refugees desperate to escape after the Anschluss, Hitler's annexation of Austria.
Tante Truus, as she is known, is determined to save as many children as she can. After Britain passes a measure to take in young refugees from the German Reich, she dares to approach Adolf Eichmann, the man who would later help devise the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question." Truus then sets off in a race against time to lead hundreds of children on a perilous journey to freedom.
In Ramzipoor's triumphant debut inspired by true events, a ragtag gang of journalists and resistance fighters risk everything for an elaborate scheme to undermine the Reich.
The Nazis stole their voices. But they would not be silenced.
Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country's most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene's world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network that publishes dissident underground newspapers.
The Nazis track down Aubrion's team and give them an impossible choice: turn the resistance newspapers into a Nazi propaganda bomb that will sway public opinion against the Allies, or be killed. Faced with no decision at all, Aubrion has a brilliant idea. While pretending to do the Nazis' bidding, they will instead publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin--daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors.
The ventriloquists have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only eighteen days to tell it.
Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters and stunning historical detail, E.R. Ramzipoor's dazzling debut novel illuminates the extraordinary acts of courage by ordinary people forgotten by time. It is a moving and powerful ode to the importance of the written word and to the unlikely heroes who went to extreme lengths to orchestrate the most stunning feat of journalism in modern history.