Release Date: May 1, 2021
From the bestselling author of The Murmur of Bees comes a transportive novel of two families uprooted by war and united by the bonds of love and courage.
About The Book:
With war looming dangerously close, Ilse’s school days soon turn to lessons of survival. In the harshness of winter, her family must join the largest exodus in human history to survive. As battle lines are drawn and East Prussia’s borders vanish beneath them, they leave their farm and all they know behind for an uncertain future.
But Ilse also has Janusz, her family’s young Polish laborer, by her side. As they flee from the Soviet army, his enchanting folktales keep her mind off the cold, the hunger, and the horrors unfolding around them. He tells her of a besieged kingdom in the Baltic Sea from which spill the amber tears of a heartbroken queen.
Neither of them realizes his stories will prove crucial and prophetic.
Not far away, trying and failing to flee from a vengeful army, Arno and his mother hide in the ruins of a Königsberg mansion, hoping that once the war ends they can reunite their dispersed family. But their stay in the walled city proves untenable when they find themselves dodging bombs and scavenging in the rubble. Soon they’ll become pawns caught between two powerful enemies, on a journey with an unknown destination.
Hope carries these children caught in the crosshairs of war on an extraordinary pilgrimage in which the gift of an amber teardrop is at once a valuable form of currency and a symbol of resilience, one that draws them together against insurmountable odds.
About The Author:
Sofía Segovia was born in Monterrey, Mexico. She studied communications at Universidad de Monterrey, thinking mistakenly that she would be a journalist. But fiction is her first love. A creative writing teacher, she has also been a ghostwriter and communications director for local political campaigns and has written several plays for local theater. Her novels include Noche de huracán (Night of the Hurricane), El murmullo de las abejas (The Murmur of Bees)–which was called the literary discovery of the year by Penguin Random House and named Novel of the Year by iTunes–and Huracán. Sofía likes to travel the world, but she loves coming home to her husband, three children, two dogs, and cat. She writes her best surrounded and inspired by their joyous chaos.
Readers will quickly bond with the families and secondary characters, as Segovia, author of the acclaimed The Murmur of Bees (2019), makes each individual memorable. The variety of background stories and voices allows for greater understanding of shared experiences and creates deeper emotional engagement…Segovia’s novel provides the domestic perspective of those caught in conflicts they have no power to change. Book groups and individual readers will find plenty to appreciate and discuss.” ―Booklist (starred review)
“Segovia’s vivid descriptions of how refugees do whatever necessary to survive compels readers to be sympathetic with human struggles, rather than simply taking sides in a conflict. This story demonstrates the staggering toll war takes, especially on women, left to carry on…” ―Authorlink
“Translated from Spanish, this breathtaking novel follows the stories of three children caught in the midst of war. In the middle of Prussia’s harsh winter, Ilse and her family must take part in the world’s largest exodus in history if they want to survive. While fleeing the Soviet army, she has only the folklore stories of Janusz, her Polish friend, to keep her spirits up. Not far away, Arno and his mother hide in an abandoned mansion, hoping to stay out of the clutches of war. But all of their lives will collide in this story of war, hope, and resilience.” ―BuzzFeed
“A skillfully rendered tale, at once heartbreaking and heartwarming.” ―The Washington Post