My mother died on the 13th, funny as she tended to be superstitious. I lost her relatively early and suffered greatly. Nearly ten years later my dad died. The circumstances, left me alone: an adult orphan.
I stood on marbles, not knowing where I fitted. The idea to chronicle my parent’s life story, began years before, but I doubted my ability to be able to do the story justice. The idea possessed a tenacity of its own, gradually transforming my thinking.
I began to write.
Schicksal is my parent’s story. The characters lived completely different lives, one lived in the city, the other in the country. Stefan chose to leave home, while Reine lost her home. Stefan entered the military, while the Reine avoided Hitler and The Third Reich. Both were imprisoned, one physically and the other psychologically.
Life was unkind to both, dealing harshly with love that for each was young tender and eternal. From opposite sides, a German nurse and a Serbian soldier survive the insanity that enveloped Europe during WWII. Theirs is a story of loss, love, and forgiveness.
Denuded. Both faced life alone, choosing to move forward, away from the past. It is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit. In troubled times internationally, it examines the effect war has on ordinary folk. My father’s sentiments: ‘I hope you never experience war,’ are still highly relevant today.
Back Cover Blurb:
Reine is born during the chaos of World War I. She grows up in Germany unaware of the political struggles that surround her family. It seems her life is orchestrated by a dark, unseen hand. Repeatedly she struggles with tragedy and an insatiable need for love. In a Yugoslavian town, Stefan is raised among Jews, Muslim, and Orthodox Serbs who happily coexist despite their cultural differences. As he matures into adulthood, Stefan eagerly learns about the world around him, driven by a natural curiosity.
After Reine enters womanhood and becomes a nurse, she lives a cautious life until a Nazi soldier captures her heart amid increasing unrest in the world. Stefan, who is now an optimistic member of the Royal Yugoslav Army, soon finds himself in the midst of an escalating war, his charmed life unraveling as the Germans march almost unhindered into his homeland. As Reine and Stefan face heartache, uncertainty, and the daunting task of rebuilding, each bravely moves forward through travail to rebuild their lives and find a destiny that may just include each other.
In this historical novel based on true events, a Serbian soldier and a German nurse test the resilience of the human spirit, love, forgiveness, and hope for the future as World War II ravages Europe.