In Conversation with Kate Whitman, Vice President of Author and Family Programs, Atlanta History Center
MELANIE BENJAMIN, Mistress of the Ritz: A Novel (Book Club Pick)
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue, comes this captivating new novel based on the true story of the extraordinary American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II.
Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude are the mistress and master of the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. The glamour and glitz take their minds off their troubled marriage—until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. With the likes of Hermann Goëring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must spin a web of deceit to survive—and try to strike a blow against their Nazi guests.
But one secret shared between Blanche and Claude threatens to imperil both of their lives and to bring down the legendary Ritz.
JENNIFER CODY EPSTEIN, Wunderland: A Novel (Book Club Pick)
Things had never been easy between Ava Fisher and her estranged mother Ilse. Too many questions hovered between them: Who was Ava's father? Where had Ilse been during the war? Why had she left her only child in a German orphanage during the war’s final months? But now Ilse’s ashes have arrived from Germany, and with them, a trove of unsent letters addressed to Renate Bauer, a childhood friend if Ilse. As her mother’s letters unfurl a dark past, Ava spirals deep into the shocking history of her mother’s involvement in the Hitler Youth movement. Then the Nuremburg Laws force Renate to confront a long-buried past, and a catastrophic betrayal is set in motion.
An unflinching exploration of Nazi Germany and its legacy, Wunderland is a powerful portrait of an unspeakable crime and a page-turning contemplation of womanhood, wartime, and just how far we might go in order to belong.
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