A Family Divided
by Dick Parsons

"Golda shut her eyes in horror. That form when completed would reveal Hedwig’s Jewish ancestry and their attempt to pose as Christians would be uncovered."

Parsons' novel is a harrowing chronicle of what it was like for one Jewish family in Germany before and during World War II. It is an emotionally compelling book that not only contains a riveting narrative but also well-researched information about the machinery of war that led to enormous loss of life throughout Europe and across the Atlantic during that period.

Klaus is a German gentile married to Golda, a Jew. As Hitler and the Nazis gain more power, Jews are systematically excluded from society and subjected to harsh and inhumane treatment. Klaus’s occupation as a much-in-demand aircraft designer shields them temporarily, but he sees the horror that is coming and knows he must do something to save their children. Moving to another city and masquerading as Christians, the couple attempts to secure their son’s passage to Palestine and have their daughter accepted by Kinderstransport, a British Government program funding the transport of Jewish children to foster homes in England. As war begins the questions mount. Will Klaus’s secret be found out? Can a family rent asunder ever be united? And who, if anyone, will survive the coming maelstrom?

Parsons is an able storyteller who weaves his tale with equal helpings of pathos and history. A degree of repetitiveness occasionally restrains his pace in the book, but not enough to blunt the searing emotional impact of one family’s valiant effort to survive. The author recounts, often in copious detail, insights into German aircraft, the London bombings, U-boat warfare, and more. Yet he never loses sight of the human beings at the heart of his narrative. Their individual bouts with fear, love, and loss, are painstakingly rendered.

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