Book Spotlight: This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann


Release Date: March 1, 2020

About The Book:

On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man.

When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child.

Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she’s never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved’s fate, whatever the cost.

About The Author: 

I was born in Freiburg, Germany and moved to Brooklyn when I was two. There I attended PS 8 (this was the “Free to Be You and Me” era), where I could be spotted wearing a dirndl (mortified). At age eleven, as the punk rock scene raged, my family moved to London where I went to an all-girls school and directed much of my energy on rebelling against my parents. I studied French and German Literature at Oxford and played Ice Hockey, winning a Half Blue, and then got a graduate degree in Journalism from Stanford University. Before settling in Boston, I lived with my growing family in Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco, working part time in various capacities at National Public Radio. I was awarded the Kogan Media Award for my work as a producer.

In addition to THE FORGOTTEN HOURS, I’m the author of numerous nonfiction books. My work has been featured on TODAY, Talk of the Nation and in The Times (London), as well as other national and international media outlets… and I learned the hard way that orange is not a good color to wear on TV!

For the past ten years I’ve been teaching writing, most recently at GrubStreet and at local prisons through PEN New England. I helped design and run Grub Street’s innovative program for debut authors, “The Launch Lab.” Each year I participate in The Muse and the Marketplace, voted the #1 Writing Conference in America by The Writer Magazine. I’m now the Program Coordinator of the Key West Literary Seminar and Workshops, and spend my winters in the sun.

I’ve been granted fiction residencies at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony and the Vermont Studio Center, but, actually, my favorite place to write is all alone in a room with a window. I write a monthly column on GrubWrites and can be found at , and on Twitter and Instagram:

Book Blurbs:

“This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann is a compelling and richly layered story of love, motherhood, art, and ultimately self-preservation. Unputdownable!” ~ Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of The Lost Letter and In Another Time

“Schumann’s luminous and unflinching lens in This Terrible Beauty sweeps the reader into the crushing birth of the GDR and a heart pounding love story that lays bare the trauma war leaves in its wake. Her vivid focus reveals characters who crumble with heartbreak  and rise with strength, and above all draws her readers in and never lets them go.” ~ Rachel Barenbaum, bestselling author of A Bend in the Stars