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A Feather on the Water: A Novel Kindle Edition
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For three women in postwar Germany, 1945 is a time of hope—lost and found—in this powerful novel by the bestselling author of The Woman on the Orient Express.
Just weeks after World War II ends, three women from different corners of the world arrive in Germany to run a Displaced Persons camp. They long to help rebuild shattered lives—including their own…
For Martha, going to Germany provides an opportunity to escape Brooklyn and a violent marriage. Arriving from England is orphaned Kitty. She hopes working at the camp will bring her closer to her parents, last seen before the war began. For Delphine, Paris has been a city of ghosts after her husband and son died in Dachau. Working at the camp is her chance to find meaning again by helping other victims of Hitler’s regime.
Charged with the care of more than two thousand camp residents, Martha, Delphine, and Kitty draw on each other’s strength to endure and to give hope when all seems lost. Among these strangers and survivors, they might find the love and closure they need to heal their hearts and leave their troubled pasts behind.
From the Publisher
Martha, Kitty, and Delphine, each from a unique background and corner of the world, are called to serve at a ramshackle Displaced Persons camp in Germany just after the end of the Second World War. They leave behind their problems at home and arrive to find that there are no existing administrators—they will have to manage the camp on their own. Living and working together around the clock, the women grow close, and they are deeply affected by the people around them. Their job is to care for the residents until they can be repatriated, but it soon becomes clear that many are afraid of returning to their homelands. The numbers in the camp swell to more than two thousand, but the occupants have nowhere to go.
Ashford’s novel immerses us in a time and place that doesn’t feel that far away. She infuses the story with the historical details we love and gifts us with the kind of hopeful ending that we long for, both in books and in the real world.
—Danielle Marshall, Editor
About the Author
Lindsay Jayne Ashford is the author of The House at Mermaid’s Cove, The Snow Gypsy, Whisper of the Moon Moth, The Color of Secrets, and The Woman on the Orient Express, which blend fiction with real events of the early twentieth century. Lindsay began her career as a novelist with a contemporary crime series featuring forensic psychologist Megan Rhys, followed by the historical mystery The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen. Raised in Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom, Lindsay was the first woman to graduate from Queens’ College, Cambridge, in its 550-year history. She earned a degree in criminology and was a reporter for the BBC before becoming a freelance journalist. She has four children and divides her time between a seaside home on the west coast of Wales and a farmhouse in Spain’s Sierra de Los Filabres. Lindsay enjoys kayaking, bodyboarding, and walking her dogs, Milly and Pablo. Visit the author at http://lindsay-jayne-ashford.com.
- ASIN : B09LC5CYGH
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (1 Aug. 2022)
- Language : English
- File size : 7652 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 345 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 241 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer reviews:
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I was attracted by the premise and setting of "A Feather on the Water". Taking place just after the end of WWII, three women from different countries find themselves running a displaced persons (DP) camp in Germany: Martha has come from the USA and is trying to escape an abusive marriage; Kitty is Jewish and Austrian by birth, but had been sent to England by her parents prior to the outbreak of war in order to escape persecution by the Nazis; Delphine, from France, has tragically lost both her doctor husband and her son to the evils of the Nazi regime.
Given the troubled backgrounds of the three central protagonists and the addition of the harrowing circumstances that have led to thousands of displaced individuals living in the camp, there should have been plenty of opportunity for heart-wrenching poignancy - but it never really delivered on that potential. I really wanted to be drawn into the world and emotions of the three ladies as they faced the challenges of life in their new environment, but the potentially distressing elements of the story were dealt with quite superficially. Instead of delivering a powerful, emotive drama this often felt more like a fairly standard wartime romance.
It has to be said that the novel is nicely written and makes for quite easy reading. However, that really begs the question whether a novel with this setting and dealing with these topics should really be so easy to read? Shouldn't the reader be feeling discomfited and experience some kind of catharsis? Had that been the case, then there would have been a far greater sense of feeling uplifted as you will the protagonists to triumph in the face of adversity. Instead, the resolutions are overly simplistic and clearly aimed at creating a feel-good factor, but it's all just too convenient.
The massive movement of people around Europe after WW2 is an important part of recent history that is rarely addressed in popular fiction and this book does a great job of showing what these camps were and how life was for the residents,in this case mostly Polish people, as they watch events unroll in Poland and have to decide whether to go back or settle further afield.
The book manages to balance the women's stories with the often harrowing experiences of the residents while also giving a broad overview of what these camps were about and the sheer scale of displaced people moving all around the world in the aftermath of the war.
An important subject and an entertaining and often thought-provoking book.
Set in 1945 A Feather on the Water is the story of three women, Martha, Delphine, and Kitty, who volunteer to work for the UNRRA. These three women have left behind troubled pasts, they are carrying emotional baggage and are seeking some sort of redemption. When they arrive at their designated camp they discovery a world they didn’t think existed as they are put in charge of more than two thousand camp residents.
The concept of A Feather on the Water is a good one. The story of these people is harrowing and draws parallels with what is happening today in modern Europe. The potential of the story is immense, providing a hatful of themes and emotions to consider. However Lindsay Jayne Ashford’s novel fails to draw on any of this. As another reviewer has pointed out it’s an easy read - but it shouldn’t be. One of the problems is the three main characters, they just don’t draw enough sympathy or empathy, they are sadly a bit flat. When they do encounter atrocities it just doesn’t pack enough punch. It is on the whole unfocused as the story jumps between the three women. Also everything is too obvious, too easy, all the solutions to their problems fall easily into place. And sadly it eventually dissolves into a Mills & Boon style romance. I am not knocking this, I understand there is a lot of people out there who like this type of literature, it just isn’t my cup of tea. It’s all a bit too tame. It’s disappointing as the story had great potential.