From the international bestselling author of Last Train to Istanbul comes a novel based on true events that explores the depths of pride, devotion, and persistence as four generations of a family struggle to forge their destinies.
As Hitler’s reign of terror begins to loom large over Germany, Gerhard and Elsa Schliemann—like other German Jews—must flee with their children in search of sanctuary. But life elsewhere in Europe offers few opportunities for medical professor Gerhard and his fellow scientists. Then they discover an unexpected haven in Turkey, where universities and hospitals welcome them as valuable assets.
But despite embracing their adopted land, personal and political troubles persist. Military coups bring unrest and uncertainty to the country, intermarriage challenges the cultural identity of Gerhard and Elsa’s descendants, and anti-Semitism once again threatens their future in the place they call home.
From World War II to the age of social media, one family’s generations find their way through love and loss, sacrifice and salvation, tragedy and triumph—with knowledge hard won and passion heartfelt.
About the Author
One of Turkey’s most beloved authors, with more than ten million copies of her books sold, Ayşe Kulin is known for captivating stories about human endurance. In addition to penning internationally bestselling novels, she has also worked as a producer, cinematographer, and screenwriter for numerous television shows and films. Last Train to Istanbul, winner of the European Council Jewish Community Best Novel Award and the Premio Roma in Italy, has been translated into twenty-three languages.
Top customer reviews
By the early 1930s, Gerhard Schliemann knows that his family is no longer safe living in Germany because they are Jewish. He eventually finds employment in Turkey and soon his wife and two children join him and attempt to adapt to life in their new country. This is a historical fiction book that not only follows generations of a family from the 1930s to present day but also the country of Turkey as it undergoes massive changes throughout the years.
What really drew me into the book was the setting of Turkey as it’s not a country that is usually represented in WW2 historical fiction. It was almost like a character itself because so much of what was going on in the country affected the actions of other characters. And while only part of the book takes place during the war, the author did a fine job in showing how relevant that time period is even in today’s times.
I really enjoyed watching this family throughout the years as they dealt with heartache, love, and betrayal and all the other stuff one experiences in life. They might have all been related by blood but each person forged their own unique path in life.
My only real complaint about the book is I thought there was one story line that had too much of a soap opera quality to it. It felt unnecessary and added just for drama’s sake.
Would recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction and/or family dramas.
This book is about a family fleeing Germany when Hitler took office and proclaimed he made all decisions with no congress approval beeded. An associate told Gerhard, a pathologist ready to become head of the department, that he heard his brother a policeman that Jews were being targeted. His wife Elsa and he heeded the warning an left for her parents house in Zurich.
Her dad who worked full time at a university decided to start a placement firm for displaced educated people. 100 ‘s applied. He had a meeting in Turkey that Gerhard took as they were starting to build university’s a d new hospitals. He placed 30 people there including himself. They were welcomed for there skills until the country’s leader passed. After that there were that’s and coups and turmoil in general.
There son moved to America for school and stayed. There daughter was a Turk to her core and married and remained in Turkey.
This follows life in general for the family as it grows. It follows the family until current times.
You are bound to learn a lot as Turkey is not the usual stage for this type of book.
A very good and easy read.