Synopses & Reviews
Thomas Danforth has lived a fortunate life. The son of a wealthy importer, he traveled the world in his youth, and now, in his twenties, he lives in New York City and runs the family business. It is 1939, and the world is on the brink of war, but Danforths life is untroubled, his future assured. Then, on a snowy evening walk along Gramercy Park, a friend poses a fateful question.
As it turns out, this friend has a dangerous idea that can change the world. Danforth is to provide a place where a “brilliant woman” can receive training in firearms and explosives. This is to be the beginning of an international plot carried out by the mysterious Anna Klein—a plot that will ensnare Danforth in more ways than one. When the plan goes wrong and Klein disappears, Danforths quest begins: it is a journey of ever-shifting alliances and betrayals that will lead him across a war-torn world in search of answers. Now in his ninety-first year, at the dawn of a troubled new era, he sits in luxury at the Century Club and tells his tale to the young man from Washington he has summoned, for reasons of his own, to hear it.
This riveting war story introduces us to the beautiful Kate Zweig, the English widow of a German surgeon, and Claus Murphy, an exiled American with German rootstwo lovers with complicated loyalties.
In 1918, Kate and her husband, Horst, are taken for spies by Russian soldiers and forced to flee their field hospital on the eastern front, barely escaping with their lives. Years later, in London during the Nazis V-1 reign of terror, Claus spends his days making propaganda films and his nights as a British spy, worn down by the war and his own many secrets. When Claus meets the intriguing Kate, he finds himself powerfully drawn to her, even after evidence surfaces that she might not be exactly who she seems. As the war hurtles to a violent end, Claus must decide where his own loyalties lie, whether he can make a difference in the warand what might be gained by taking a leap of faith with Kate.
"The German Woman" spans the two world wars that defined the 20th century, and the hidden histories of two unforgettable characters whose love story will haunt readers' hearts and minds.
On the eve of World War II, an international plot gone wrong leads a wealthy man on a quest that spans decades and continents, to the dawn of a troubled new century.
About the Author
PAUL GRINER is the author of the acclaimed novel Collectors and the story collection Follow Me, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick. He is the director of the creative writing program at the University of Louisville.