Anika Scott’s ‘The German Heiress’ Examines Life After WWII from the Other Side of History [REVIEW]

Devastation of Krupp factory, Essen, 1945
The war may have decimated her family’s steel empire, but for a German heiress there is more on the line than she thinks. (Photo Public Domain)

She was one of the most recognized women in Germany. Then the war came. In its wake, she must reinvent herself to survive. But what kind of life can she build for herself when one man has already determined her fate? Discover what it was like to be The German Heiress in Anika Scott’s debut novel.

Anika Scott's THE GERMAN HEIRESS
William Morrow

Clara Falkenberg, daughter to a powerful German magnate and his English wife, was the blonde bombshell every eligible bachelor desired before World War II. After all, she was heir to the family fortune, and worked alongside her father running their iron works empire.

As the nation became embroiled in conflict, she did what she could for her employees given the mandates the Nazi regime gave them. And yet pretending to be loyal to the Reich so she could offer some semblance of protection to the people who worked for her always got stuck in her craw, and she’s wished she could have done more for all of them ever since.

Now, the war has been over for nearly two years. She’s living under an assumed identity, eager to get back to the city she fled, to find her best friend and to liberate her father. But the road to redemption is paved with hardships and danger, especially since one English officer is bent on hunting her down and making her pay for the war crimes he believes she is responsible for.

Meanwhile, Jakob, a former soldier now working on the black market, is striving diligently to protect the only family he has left. When he runs into Clara, he doesn’t recognize her initially since she’s changed her appearance and is living under an assumed identity. But the more time they spend together, he begins to connect the dots as they endeavor to stay one step ahead of the officer who could take them both down. Will he prove faithful to his new friend or will he sell her out to save his own hide? The stakes are high for both of them in this enthralling look at the post-World War II era viewed from the other side of history.

Even if I never read her bio, I would deduce that Anika Scott was a trained journalist. The time period comes to vivid life because of her strong narrative and well-defined characters, but also because of the amount of research that so obviously went into writing this book. Don’t get me wrong. The German Heiress never reads like a textbook on German history, but it definitely shines a bright light on what it was like for those who survived the war. She reminds us that just because someone is caught behind enemy lines, they don’t necessarily agree with the politics of the day. Regarding Clara, she doesn’t just have to atone for what she actually did in the name of self preservation, but also for the Allied forces’ reckoning based on her lineage and sex.

The result is a novel that is both insightful and impeccably written. This is a story that sticks with you long after you finish reading it. I think part of my fascination with this book comes from there being so much going on in today’s political realm that mirrors what transpired in the 1940s, thus it feels even more pertinent for our time. Reminiscent of stories like Danielle Steel’s classic The Ring, Martin Cruz Smith’s The Girl from Venice, and Anthony Doer’s All the Light We Cannot See, this is a novel that history buffs and book clubs the world over will enthusiastically devour.

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Anika Scott
Anika Scott

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anika Scott was a journalist at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chicago Tribune before moving to Germany, where she currently lives with her husband and two daughters.

Originally from Michigan, Anika holds a bachelor’s in international relations from Michigan State University and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University.

The German Heiress is her first novel.

For more information, visit AnikaScott.com, read her blog Postwar Germany, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

THE GERMAN HEIRESS
By Anika Scott
384 pp. William Morrow. $16.99

Purchase The German Heiress direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, or Walmart.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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