Sigrid MacRae never knew her father, until a trove of letters revealed not only him, but also the singular story of her parents intercontinental love affair. Read more...
Sigrid MacRae never knew her father, until a trove of letters revealed not only him, but also the singular story of her parents intercontinental love affair. While visiting Paris
in 1927, her American mother, Aimee, raised in a wealthy Connecticut family, falls in love with a charming, sophisticated Baltic German baron, a penniless exile of the Russian revolution. They marry. But the harsh reality of post World War I Germany is inescapable: a bleak economy and the rise of Hitler quash Heinrich s diplomatic
ambitions, and their struggling family farm north of Berlin drains Aimee s modest fortune. In 1941, Heinrich volunteers for the Russian front and is killed by a sniper. Widowed, living in a country soon at war with her own, Aimee must fend for herself. With home and family in jeopardy, she and her six young children flee the advancing
Russian army in an epic journey, back to the country she thought she d left behind.
A World Elsewhere is a stirring narrative of two hostages to history and a mother s courageous fight to save her family."
- ISBN-13: 9780670015832
- ISBN-10: 0670015830
- Publisher: Viking Pr
- Publish Date: September 2014
- Page Count: 310
- Dimensions: 1 x 6.25 x 9.25 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.25 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Drawing from a collection of letters and diary entries given to her by her mother, MacRae’s thought-provoking chronicle of her parents’ experiences during WWII offers the perspective of ordinary people as historic events tamper with their lives. MacRae gets to know her mother as a young woman, the father she never met, and her own place in history. Her mother, Aimée, born to a wealthy Connecticut family, forgoes college to travel the world, and she meets Heinrich, a penniless Russian baron exiled by the Bolsheviks, in 1920s Paris. A slew of letters reveals their blossoming romance and marriage, and the couple settle on a farm north of Berlin. But when the Great Depression hits and unforeseen troubles cause their resources to dwindle, Heinrich volunteers for the German army during WWII and is killed on Russian front. And so, even though leaving Germany is forbidden, Aimée and her six young children start a long and difficult journey to ghetto America. The letters and diary entries, MacRae finds, are full of youthful questions and hopes that turned to pensive fears and detailed descriptions of the horrors of war. While the substance of MacRae’s historical account is fascinating, many passages are overwritten.. Agent: Robin Straus, the Robin Straus Agency (Sept.)