That’s a question Franka Gerber, the woman at the center of Eoin Dempsey’s riveting historical novel, has to ask repeatedly in day-to-day life—which makes her decision to rescue an injured airman she knows nothing about all the more remarkable. Broken by the deaths of her family and boyfriend and recently released from jail for affiliating with the White Rose resistance, Franka is adrift when she discovers the unconscious pilot in the Black Forest. She resolves to take him in, the nurse in her unable to dismiss his grievous wounds, her conscience unable to ignore its moral duty. Even so, it’s not without a great deal of reluctance and fear that she drags him to her cabin. Just who is this mysterious man in uniform? Why is he here, in the middle of the mountains?
As he recovers, Franka learns there is more to him than appearances would suggest, and her ability to trust is put to the ultimate test as they embark on a covert mission that builds to a breathless conclusion. Few characters may embody the unease and isolation of living in wartime Germany as vividly as Franka, but it’s her perseverance, and especially her humanity, that make her truly unforgettable.
- Chris Werner, Editor