Hannah & Emil (Paperback)

By Belinda Castles

Allen & Unwin, 9781743315781, 416pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2014

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An inspiring novel of great courage and enduring love set against a backdrop of the turmoil and devastation of World War II, reminiscent of Anna Funder's All That I Am and Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book
Emil and Hannah live their lives amid the unrest of 20th century history. Emil, a German veteran of the Great War, has returned home to a nation in turmoil. As inflation and unemployment edge the country toward collapse, he finds himself clashing with the political forces gaining ascendency. His involvement with resistance forces will ultimately drive him from his family and his home as the Nazis cement their hold on Germany. Hannah, soaked in the many languages of her upbringing as a Russian Jew in the West End of London, leaves home for Europe, and survives on her translation skills in a continent headed once more toward total war. In Brussels, working for the trade unions, she meets the devastated Emil, who has just crossed the border on foot from Nazi Germany, leaving tragedy in his wake. They briefly manage to make a life in England. But war strikes, and Emil, an enemy alien, is interned and transported to Australia. Hannah, determined to find him, sets off on a lonely and dangerous journey across the seas. Based on the story of the author's own grandparents, this is a remarkable love story riven by the powerful currents of history—an inspiring tale of courage, conviction, unshakeable determination, and love

About the Author

Belinda Castles is  the author of Falling Woman and The River Baptists, which won the 2006 The Australian/Vogel Literary Award.

Praise For Hannah & Emil

"A clear-eyed, absorbing and intelligent account of lives adrift, or anchored perilously." —Sydney Morning Herald

"Their story is extraordinary, and Castles creates or re-creates two great characters thrown together by circumstance and then smitten, for a while, by fate... An engaging storyteller with a literary sensibility." —Australian

"A true testament to the power and the pathos of the displaced, this fictionalized account of an all-but-forgotten slice of history serves as a true testament of the vagaries of war and the ultimate supremacy of love." —Booklist