I am delighted to reveal the cover of my latest book, The Child of Auschwitz, out on 8 November.
‘She touched the photograph in its gilt frame that was always on her desk, of a young, thin woman with very short hair and a baby in her arms. She had one last story to tell. Theirs. And it began in hell on earth.’
It is 1942 and Eva Adami has boarded a train to Auschwitz. Barely able to breathe due to the press of bodies and exhausted from standing up for two days, she can think only of her longed-for reunion with her husband Michal, who was sent there six months earlier.
But when Eva arrives at Auschwitz, there is no sign of Michal and the stark reality of the camp comes crashing down upon her. As she lies heartbroken and shivering on a thin mattress, her head shaved by rough hands, she hears a whisper. Her bunkmate, Sofie, is reaching out her hand…
As the days pass, the two women learn each other’s hopes and dreams – Eva’s is that she will find Michal alive in this terrible place, and Sofie’s is that she will be reunited with her son Tomas, over the border in an orphanage in Austria. Sofie sees the chance to engineer one last meeting between Eva and Michal and knows she must take it even if means befriending the enemy…
But when Eva realises she is pregnant she fears she has endangered both their lives. The women promise to protect each other’s children, should the worst occur. For they are determined to hold on to the last flower of hope in the shadows and degradation: their precious children, who they pray will live to tell their story when they no longer can.
A heart-breaking story of survival, where life or death relies on the smallest chance and happiness can be found in the darkest times.
It’s available for pre-order here. Also it will be audio form too – more news on that soon!
The story behind the novel and my PAPERBACK DEAL!
This book has been such a labour of love, testing me in ways I could never have imagined. It is far and away the most difficult novel I have ever written. I never meant to write a story set in Auschwitz. But when I was trying desperately to write the book I was meant to be writing, the words just would not come. I’d been struck by a true story about a woman who’d given birth to a child after surviving a concentration camp. No one thought her malnourished body would be able to sustain a pregnancy, and the miracle of it haunted me – this idea of such light coming from such darkness. As much as I tried to write that other novel, this one began to whisper in the corners. I became drawn to other survivor stories. Finding incredible, rare stories about women who were sent to Auschwitz while pregnant, and how they managed to survive. Their incredible strength and courage inspired me so much, and before I knew it this story came instead. I then had to explain why my overdue book was non-existent to my editor and publishers (um, not a great moment) and sent them the early chapters of a completely different type of novel than the one I had promised. Luckily, my wonderful editor came back rather quickly, and was incredibly supportive. They really believed, as I did, that I should write this story instead, so I did.
Sometimes you have to take a risk, and go where your heart leads you. Occasionally when you take a leap, amazing things happen. I am so incredibly excited, and honoured, to announce that next year, 2020: The Child of Auschwitz will be published in the UK in PAPERBACK by Sphere.
As some of you may know, I am published digitally with Bookouture – all my books come out in ebook form, and you can order a print-on-demand-copy – but this is something that has to be ordered online or through a bookshop who will place a order with the printers.
Bookouture are an imprint of Hachette one of the big five publishers and one of their imprints is Sphere, who publish authors like Robert Galbraith (well, hello J.K. Rowling!). Occasionally (not often) some Bookouture books are picked up by them and offered a paperback deal… and incredibly, after six novels, it’s happened to me! I don’t mind admitting that there were a few tears when I heard the news this week (the happy kind). Part of me is also really grateful that it happened on book seven. Not the first, as it really does show you that if you keep trying and keep striving amazing things happen. I am utterly over the moon to think that next year UK readers will be able to pop into their local WH Smiths or Waterstones and find my book on the shelves!! I will keep you posted on the paperback release date.
I really hope you like the cover, I’d love to hear your thoughts.