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Inspired by the author’s true family story of survival during the Second World War, Natalia’s story is an unforgettable portrait of the triumph of the human spirit.

‘In anguish and despair we release this child into the hands of God, with hope and faith that she may be saved...’

On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of a building in Bucharest. With Romania now in league with the Nazis, the Jewish population is doomed. The child is placed in an orphanage and adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she adapts to her new life, she all but forgets the parents forced to leave her behind.

Yet, as Natalia comes of age under Soviet occupation, traces of her identity pierce the surface of her everyday life, leading to a discovery that will change her destiny. When she meets Victor, an important official in the Communist regime, she is drawn into a passionate affair despite overwhelming obstacles and her lover’s dark secrets.

When Natalia is offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonising decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she loves, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms – and to confront the painful enigma of her past.

‘There are stories that must be told because in doing so, they shed light on the irreparable consequences of war in the lives of so many innocents.’ Armando Lucas Correa, author of The German Girl

Photograph by Eric Lindstrom

Roxanne Veletzos was born in Bucharest, Romania, and moved to California with her family as a young teen. Already fluent in English and French, she began writing short stories about growing up in her native Eastern Europe, at first as a cathartic experience as she transitioned to a new culture. With a bachelor’s degree in journalism, she has worked as an editor, content writer, and marketing manager for a number of Fortune 500 companies. Her debut novel, published in multiple languages, is an international bestseller. Roxanne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (September 1, 2019)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781925791433