HANNAH & EMIL
By: Belinda Castles
A compelling novel of love and courage in wartime from the Vogel Award-winner Emil and Hannah live their lives amid the turmoil of 20th-century history. Emil, a German veteran of the Great War, has returned home to a disturbed nation.
Hannah, soaked in the many languages of her upbringing as a Russian Jew in London, leaves home for Europe, travelling into a continent headed once more toward total war. In Brussels, she meets the devastated Emil, who has just crossed the border on foot from Nazi Germany, leaving tragedy in his wake.
All too briefly, they make a life before war strikes, and Emil, an enemy alien, is interned. Hannah, determined to find him, prepares herself for a lonely and dangerous journey. Hannah and Emil is a heart-breaking and life-affirming novel of conviction, unshakeable determination and love in desperate times.
Belinda Castles is the author of the The River Baptists which won the 2006 The Australian/Vogel Literary Award. She lives in Sydney.
Hannah and Emil is based on the true story of her grandparents and contains descriptions of life on the Dunera on the trip from Liverpool to Sydney and in the Hay camp.