A Novel

eBook - 2019
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USA TODAY BESTSELLER * "Searing . . . a heartbreaking page-turner."-- People (Book of the Week)

An intimate portrait of a friendship severed by history, and a sweeping saga of wartime, motherhood, and legacy by an award-winning novelist

East Village, 1989
Things had never been easy between Ava Fisher and her estranged mother Ilse. Too many questions hovered between them: Who was Ava's father? Where had Ilse been during the war? Why had she left her only child in a German orphanage during the war's final months? But now Ilse's ashes have arrived from Germany, and with them, a trove of unsent letters addressed to someone else unknown to Ava: Renate Bauer, a childhood friend. As her mother's letters unfurl a dark past, Ava spirals deep into the shocking history of a woman she never truly knew.

Berlin, 1933
As the Nazi party tightens its grip on the city, Ilse and Renate find their friendship under siege--and Ilse's increasing involvement in the Hitler Youth movement leaves them on opposing sides of the gathering storm. Then the Nuremburg Laws force Renate to confront a long-buried past, and a catastrophic betrayal is set in motion. . . .

An unflinching exploration of Nazi Germany and its legacy, Wunderland is at once a powerful portrait of an unspeakable crime history and a page-turning contemplation of womanhood, wartime, and just how far we might go in order to belong.

Praise for Wunderland

"Engrossing . . . Epstein reveals the devastating choices these women make." -- Real Simple

" Wunderland is both an engrossing family drama and a foray into a dark period of history . . . a wholly original angle to the WWII novel. You'll read it in one shivered sitting." -- Refinery29

"A vividly written and stark chronicle of Nazism and its legacies." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A wealth of history turns Wunderland into a novel that's both beautiful and devastating. . . . Epstein taps into the 1930s prewar era, laying out an unsparing narrative that details tragic events and horrifying legacies . . . opening a new door that may lead to redemption and joy for future generations." -- BookPage (starred review)

"[A] heartbreaking historical tour de force . . . Man's inhumanity to man--and the redemptive power of forgiveness--is on stark and effective display in Epstein's gripping novel, a devastating tale bound for bestseller lists." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Publisher: 2019.
ISBN: 9780525576921
Branch Call Number: eBook overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Overdrive, Inc

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Jun 19, 2019

I only give 5 stars to books I would want to read again. This book was excellent, but I could never read it again. That is true for me about books like this that tell terrible, heart rendering accounts of terrible times! I "enjoyed" the book, but would not want to read it again. I think the commenter below said it best. It is the story of the rise of Hitler and then when he became the leader of Germany told through the lives of 2 young German friends. Ava and Ilse. As I read these books, I always find myself asking "What would their lives have been like if Hitler had never happened?" Well that's a heart breaking question with no real answer. As Hitler begins his rise to leadership of Germany Ava and Ilse pay little attention to changes that begin to take place in Germany. Hey, they are young girls. Concerned with boys and school and doing things together as friends....they don't much care for the little man with the funny mustache. But, we all know, as things progress in Germany, horrible things begin to occur and these "things" begin to affect both of the girls in very different ways. This book will give you nightmares...well, it SHOULD give you nightmares. But it tells a story that I've read about many, many times but in a different ways. And different settings. I couldn't put it down. Even with tears in my eyes and a broken heart, I couldn't stop reading it. This is a story that needs to be told and needs to be read.

Jun 19, 2019

Set during the rise of Hitler, this book takes an insider look from the perspective of two young girls experiencing events in polar opposite ways. A unique approach that not only shines a light on how Jews and pro-Hitler supporters experienced Nazi Germany, but also how (and if) friendships can triumph these vast differences.


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