Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Need To Know, A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret

"The beautiful owner of this book is dearer to me than my life."
~ August, Your protector. 

The story begins in 1940s London. It is the morning after a particularly terrifying air raid when Eve, a young German-born Jewish woman, first learns  the details of a dark family secret. At the breakfast table her father hesitantly tells her about Emilie, her great-great-great grandmother. Emilie had been married to August. A Royal. A Prussian prince. Hardly looking at her he shares the unbelievable ...  Eve is a princess. 

Captivated by this shocking news Eve considers the intriguing possibilities. Her father tells her there is a diary and allows her to briefly hold the treasured gilt-edged notebook before it is whisked away. This diary is the only proof of where we came from he tells her, nothing else exists, promise me you will not go looking...

At sixteen she had thought she knew everything about her father and now she was being asked to forget her family's royal connection, put her own questions aside and to heed his dire warnings ...when I am gone this notebook will be yours to hand down to the next generation. But you must not do anything about what I am telling you. There is nothing more to find out.... I just wanted you to know that you have blue blood flowing in your veins...

For many years, even after his death, Eve honored her father's instructions. Then forty years later her mother dies and the notebook becomes hers. Her passion for answers returns. With the help of her husband Ken and youngest son Timothy the journey into the past begins.

Eve Haas has written a fascinating memoir about the years she spent trying to untangle her family genealogy and piece together the truth about her ancestors. The search is told in sober broad strokes; ultimately the irony of her own life is revealed. The painful quest takes Eve and Ken back to their own escaped childhoods and a still divided Germany. Experts on European royalty are consulted, a multitude of letters written, clues followed and relatives sought. There are more than a few scary moments and countless twists and turns to overcome.

In the end, however, Eve uncovers her birthright and learns why one life was saved and another sacrificed. This compelling memoir clearly demonstrates how history and our ancestors' decisions and secrets can help make us who we are today.

About the author:
EVE HAAS was born in Breslau, now Poland, in 1924. She and her family fled Germany to London when Hitler came to power. She pursued a writing career, married, and raised a family, continuing to write children’s books and contribute to magazines and newspapers in the UK. She lives in North London, England.

Note: According to the publisher's website, a movie based on this book is in production.

Arcade Publishing
(c) 2009, 2013

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