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About the book
  • Published: 17 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9781786331885
  • Imprint: Hutchinson
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $32.99
Categories:

Finding Clara

a page-turning epic set in the aftermath of World War II




A haunting debut full of moral ambiguity for fans of THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ and THE POSTMISTRESS

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'FINDING CLARA is the kind of novel we need now more than ever, [and] achieves what the best historical fiction can . . . pushing us to see ourselves in that past, demanding: Who would you have been then? What would you have done? Unflinching and absorbing, [it] does not let you look away.' Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of THE POSTMISTRESS
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1946. The ruins of Essen, Germany. A place that can't quite believe the Second World War has been lost.

There's Clara. Once a wartime icon and heiress to the Falkenberg iron works, she now finds herself on the run from the Allied authorities, accused by the zealous Allied occupiers of complicity in her father's war crimes.

There's Jakob. A charming black marketeer, badly wounded in the war but determined to help what's left of his family survive the peace.

There's Willy. A teenage boy diligently guarding a mine full of Wehrmacht supplies, his only friend a canary named Gertrud. Convinced the war isn’t over, he refuses to surrender his post.

When Clara returns to her hometown expecting to find her best friend, she finds everything she once knew in ruins. But in war-ravaged Germany, it’s not just the buildings that are scarred: everyone is changed, everyone lives in the wreckage of their own past.

To survive, Clara must hide who she is. But to live, she must face up to the truth of what she’s done.
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‘What a great debut! It still haunts me, days after finishing it.’ Liz Trenow, author of The Poppy Factory and The Silk Weaver

‘Anika Scott’s finely drawn characters in FINDING CLARA bring to life not only the struggle to rise from the ashes of war, but also the depth of resolve often required to gain redemption. Illuminating and beautifully rendered.' Susan Meissner, author of The Last Year of the War
‘Meticulously researched and plotted like a noir thriller, Finding Clara tells a different story of WWII — of characters grappling with their own guilt and driven by the question of what they could have done to change the past.’ Jessica Shattuck, author of The Women in the Castle

‘Anika Scott’s epic novel offers a captivating tour through the reckoning years that followed WWII when clarifying identities, unearthing truths, and facing judgements was the only way to rebuild a life. The novel’s heroine, Clara, marches along the razor’s edge between the leviathan of the past and a future full of mine shafts. I will never forget her unending struggle to rise above the dark lineage thrust upon her and her battle to stay connected to the deep binds of love, responsibility, and compassion.' Devin Murphy, author of The Boat Runner

'Finding Clara is a special novel that opens one's mind to aspects of history we on the "winning" side have given little thought to, and a moving story of courage and everyday heroism rising to meet unbearable challenges.’ Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls
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Readers are falling in love with Finding Clara:
‘A story that kept me engrossed from start to finish. I loved it.’
‘A stunning debut that will stay with me long after finishing the last page.’
‘A brilliant story which will keep you reading late into the night!’
‘An intense, dark and twisted historical read that skilfully portrays the often common experiences, horrors and dilemmas of being on the losing side in a war for ordinary people.’
‘A fascinating read about fighting for survival in post-World War 2 Germany’
‘The story is a page turner which had me gripped the whole way through’
‘A gripping read with a well-drawn characters.’
‘For those that love historical fiction, this was an unique and gripping plot’

  • Pub date: 17 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9781786331885
  • Imprint: Hutchinson
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Anika Scott

Anika Scott lives with her husband and two daughters in Essen, Germany, where her debut novel is set. She grew up in Michigan, USA and has degrees in International Politics and Journalism. She began her career wanting to be a CIA agent and had security clearance from an internship at the State Department in Washington, but CIA applications included never being able to write stories or keep a diary. Anika loves stories too much for that, and so became a journalist instead. She was staff on the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Tribune before becoming a freelance journalist in Germany: her work has appeared widely in the US and European media. She runs an online resource about post-war German history at www.postwargermany.com


Praise for Finding Clara

“FINDING CLARA is the kind of novel we need now more than ever. Set in Germany, eighteen months after the war, reckonings of every sort are playing out and Anika Scott deftly builds a world in which all the shades of gray--Nazi collaboration and complicity among civilians--are brought to life. FINDING CLARA achieves what the best historical fiction can, asking us to see the past, and then pushing us to see ourselves in that past, demanding: Who would you have been then? What would you have done? Unflinching and absorbing, FINDING CLARA does not let you look away.”

Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of THE POSTMISTRESS

“Fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz will be fascinated by Scott’s portrayal of post-war Germany.”

Woman

“Anika Scott’s epic novel offers a captivating tour through the reckoning years that followed WWII when clarifying identities, unearthing truths, and facing judgements was the only way to rebuild a life. The novel’s heroine marches along the razor’s edge between the leviathan of the past and a future full of mine shafts. I will never forget her unending struggle to rise above the dark lineage thrust upon her and her battle to stay connected to the deep binds of love, responsibility, and compassion.”

Devin Murphy, author of THE BOAT RUNNER

“Anika Scott’s finely drawn characters in FINDING CLARA bring to life not only the struggle to rise from the ashes of war, but also the depth of resolve often required to gain redemption. Illuminating and beautifully rendered.”

Susan Meissner, bestselling author of THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR

“Anika Scott’s riveting novel compellingly explores the nature of innocence and guilt, and the human desire for redemption. A terrific book with historical detail skillfully woven into the fabric of the story. An absolute must-read for all fans of World War II fiction!”

David Gillham, New York Times bestselling author of CITY OF WOMEN and ANNELIES

“What a great debut! It still haunts me, days after finishing it.”

Liz Trenow, NYT bestselling author of THE POPPY FACTORY and THE SILK WEAVER

“I felt as though I was walking through the rubble of Essen and shivering in the bitter cold right alongside Clara Falkenberg. In this haunting and atmospheric novel, Anika Scott delivers a nuanced and emotional look at the often un-talked about side of WWII – the devastation of German towns and cities and the weight of conscience on those who remain. [It's] is a powerful reminder that no one gets out unscathed.”

Sara Ackerman, bestselling author of The Lieutenant's Nurse

“Meticulously researched and plotted like a noir thriller, Finding Clara tells a different story of WWII — of characters grappling with their own guilt and driven by the question of what they could have done to change the past. ”

Jessica Shattuck, New York Times bestselling author of THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE

“Scott’s magnetic debut follows one woman’s quest for survival amid the devastation of post-WWII Germany . . . Fans of WWII fiction will be intrigued by Scott’s exploration of how war changes the moral compass of its victims.”

Publishers Weekly


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