A String of Pearls
Hilbert Press, Aug 15, 2014 - 302 pages
During the last night in her Melbourne house, Kirstin Elliott's thoughts return to her past, to her childhood in Berlin and to Markus, her first love.Soon after Kirstin and Markus part in Paris, the Second World War is declared. In addition to the horror of war, the fear of the Nazi regime is looming. Kirstin's mother, a Jewess, has died and thus escaped the persecution against her people. But there is Kirstin's aunt, for whom the family fears.With the increase of air raids, Kirstin's father insists that she is evacuated. In the skirmish at the station, Kirstin helps a mother and her three children. During the journey she discovers that they are Markus's family.A strange friendship develops between the two women without Magda ever learning that Kirstin is in love with her husband. Then Markus is killed in Russia. With the approach of the Russians they flee. But no avail. The Russians catch up with them. Kirstin, after the first frightful hours, finds safety and love with a Russian officer.After parting from Magda and the children, Kirstin returns to Berlin. Her beloved father is dead. Her aunt has perished in one of the Concentration Camps. She longs for her sister Astrid and is overjoyed to be reunited with her.In 1947, Kirstin meets Rick, an Australian, whom she marries and follows to Australia. Here Rick's mother and his daughter make life difficult for her. Only when Kirstin's baby is born, do Moira and Kirstin become friends. A new trauma begins for Kirstin on meeting Joachim, a German to whom she is drawn from the start.In time, Kirstin, together with her young son, returns to Germany for a visit. On their flight back to Melbourne to Rick and her daughters, she no longer doubts where her home is.In an Epilogue, the later years of Kirstin's years are briefly touched on. The growing up of her children, Rick's death. Finally the day comes when she must leave her house. But there are her memories to sustain her.
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