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The summer of 1915 was a time of prosperity and unease for the Wittgenstein family, and for their eldest daughter Beata it was also a time of awakening. By the glimmering waters of Lake Geneva, the quiet Jewish beauty met a young French officer and fell in love. Knowing that her parents would never accept her marriage to a Catholic, Beata followed her heart - and as the two built a new life together, Beata's past would stay with her in ways she could never have predicted. As the years pass, Beata must watch in horror as Europe is once again engulfed in war, threatening her life and family - even her daughter Amadea, who has taken the vows of a Carmelite nun. But Amadea is forced into hiding and as family and friends are swept away without a trace, she begins a harrowing journey of survival. Taking on daring missions behind enemy lines, she finds a man who will help her discover her place in an unbreakable chain between generations...between her lost family and her future. An intricate tapestry of a mother's love, a daughter's courage, and the unwavering faith that sustained them - even in history's darkest hour.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780552149945
ISBN-10: 0552149942
Format: Paperback
(178mm x 107mm x 30mm)
Pages: 496
Imprint: Corgi Books
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » Skipping the glamour and glitz this time around, Steel (most recently, Second Chance, p. 473) makes a well-meaning attempt at a serious WWII tale (with star-crossed lovers, of course). Steel begins her tale, however, in 1915, some months after the Great War has begun. Beata Wittgenstein, the daughter of an upper-class, patriotic German-Jewish family, falls in love with a man she meets by chance: Antoine de Vallerand, who's Catholic and French. While he's handsome, brilliant, and charming, Antoine is not at all the sort of suitor the Wittgensteins had in mind for their lovely, studious, dutiful daughter. The Vallerand family is equally outraged. Nonetheless, Beata converts to Catholicism to marry Antoine, though her father, Jacob, declares his daughter dead to him from that day on. She decides not to tell her children that she is Jewish-a fateful decision for her daughter Amadea. Years later, Antoine breaks his neck in a riding accident, dying instantly. The grieving Beata becomes deeply religious and urges Amadea to live up to her name and enter a convent, though she still knows nothing of her Jewish background. When the Wittgensteins are killed during Kristallnacht, Beata confesses everything to her other daughter, Daphne, but not Amadea, hoping to protect her. Later, as WWII rages, Amadea is singled out by an unknown informer, rounded up with other French Jews, and sent to Theriesenstadt. She escapes and joins the French Resistance (where she meets handsome Serge, underground leader). Then, burned and paralyzed by a railroad bomb, she is airlifted to England (where she meets handsome Rupert, who's looking after a houseful of war orphans). Will she ever walk again? Will she return to the convent? Or marry Rupert? Get out your hankies, ladies. Steel put her all into this one. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 530 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Second Chance, Ransom, Safe Harbour, Johnny Angel, Dating Game, Answered Prayers, Sunset in St. Tropez, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death. Visit the Danielle Steel Web Site at

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