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Saturday, May 4, 2024

The Royal Librarian by Daisy Wood

Tried copying the cover and didn’t work. Pity as it described the story pretty well.

We start in Austria just before Hitler took over. The family was an industrious hard working one. Father of Jewish origin working in the National Library and his wife a talented baker. Two little girls. On Hanna’s birthday the nightmare began with their father being beaten to death before their eyes, and their mother taken away never to be seen again.  Sophie is now in charge of Hanna with no place to go and no adult to guide them.

The story is long and complicated. Hanna ends up in America with a foster family who love her dearly. Sophie ends up as the Royal Librarian at Windsor. The story moves then to Hanna’s family in America who discovers their grandmothers roots - that she was born in Vienna, and that she has a sister. Gubby as she is affectionately known has never disclosed any of this. Confronted by her place of birth she explains to Lacey her grand daughter the broad outline of what she remembers leaving lot of detail out. Lacey takes it on herself to pursue looking for the grand aunt they never knew existed and uncovers the exciting and very unusual story of Sophie Klein.

Spanning Europe and America, in different eras with a different culture in each this family saga is a wonderful read. It covers history in great detail especially the time of Chamberlain followed by Churchill, the turbulent Royal history of the time with the abdication of Edward and the glamour and power that Wallis Simpson wielded.

Sent by Avon Books U K for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

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