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The Austrian Bride, by Helen Parusel

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TRIGGER WARNING: Nazi racial ideology and brutality
1938, Linz, Austria. Ella is excited as her 21st birthday approaches. She is hoping to get engaged to Max and is happily thinking ahead. Germany and Austria unite under the Fuhrer, with promises of a bright future. But Ella discovers the reality is very different…
The Austrian Bride is an historical novel set in Austria in 1938.
Ella is hopeful for the future although she doesn’t share her boyfriend Max’s fervour for the Anschluss which joins their homeland with Germany under the might of the Nazis. The reality of the unification quickly becomes clear, and whilst Max becomes more zealous, Ella takes dangerous action to save Jewish lives.
Ella’s mother Marlene is going through the menopause and struggling to adapt to the physical changes. She is secretly meeting a man who is not her husband, and has some connection to Max’s father and HItler. These two strands are not tied up until the very end of the book, creating plenty of scope for contemplating the mystery.
The book is written from the third person perspectives of Ella and Marlene. Both women are bravely trying to undermine the horrors of the Nazi regime and put themselves in danger. There are sex scenes which are not necessary to the plot but do give us a refreshing look at first love and established love.
Due to the Nazi actions, there are episodes of violence including sexual violence which readers may find upsetting. The emotional elements to the characters are explored fully so I genuinely cared about them (particularly Marlene) and I felt fearful for their safety as the plot unfolded.
The Austrian Bride is a well researched historical novel.
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The Austrian Bride
Austria, 1938
After years of hardship, Ella is full of hope for a better future for Austrians, and when Hitler marches into Linz, she can’t help but become swept up in the euphoria of her boyfriend, Max.
But she soon realises her mistake. When she witnesses a woman being shot in the street and a childhood friend’s Jewish department store is closed down, she knows she must do something.
It’s a dangerous time to be a resistor, especially when her fascist boyfriend proposes to her. Knowing the secrets she can uncover, Ella enlists in a Reich Bride School, finding herself propelled into the social elite of the Nazi circle.
Ella knows she has a duty – to her family, her friends, and her country – so while Europe teeters on the brink of WW2, a desperate race begins to save the people she loves. But betraying the Nazis could be her death sentence…
A powerful and unforgettable story of the strength of women and the unwavering courage of those who seek a better world. Fans of Suzanne Goldring, Mandy Robotham and Debbie Rix will devour this heartbreaking tale.
Purchase Link – https://mybook.to/theaustrianbridesocial
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Author Bio –
Helen Parusel is a debut historical novelist, having been a teacher and a clothes buyer for M&S. She lives in Hamburg, and her first book is based on the Nazi invasion of Norway in 1940; while her second is inspired by war stories from her mother’s homeland of Austria, where she spent her early holidays.

Social Media Links –
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Bookbub profile: Helen Parusel Books – BookBub

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