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  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton

The Secret History of Audrey James

Heather Marshall

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Historical fiction, Feminism & feminist theory, Ethical issues: abortion & birth control

The #1 bestselling author of Looking for Jane returns with a moving novel about a pianist in Berlin on the cusp of WWII and the choices she makes that echo across time and continents.

Sometimes the best place to hide is the last place anyone would look.

Scotland, 2010

After a tragic accident upends her life, Kate MacKenzie leaves London for a small Scottish town to work at The Oakwood Inn, where she hopes to heal from her loss. But when she arrives, she discovers the elderly proprietor has her own secrets . . .

Berlin, 1938

Audrey James is weeks away from graduating from a prestigious music school in Berlin where she's been training as a pianist for the last three years while living with her best friend, Ilse Kaplan. As much as Audrey's looking forward to finishing her studies, she's dreading the thought of returning to her father in England and leaving Ilse behind, especially now that Hitler is targeting families like the Kaplans. With each passing week, the restrictions tighten and rumours swirl about Jews being apprehended in the street and shipped off to work camps.

When Ilse's family is targeted, Audrey pleads with Ilse to come with her to England, but the borders are closed to Jews. Then, two Nazi officers commandeer their house for their own use, and the girls find themselves trapped in Berlin, cut off from all outside help as war in Europe threatens. To keep Ilse safe, Audrey must call on all her performance skills, and as she plays along with her new housemates, she learns that not everyone is loyal to Hitler. But resistance comes with risk, and before the war is over, Audrey will taste the bitter sting of betrayal.

Inspired by the true story of resistance groups of WWII, this is a captivating novel about the unbreakable bonds of friendship, the sacrifices we make for those we love, and the healing that comes from human connection.

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