Johanna Adorján’s AN EXCLUSIVE LOVE is a memoir elegantly chronicling her grandparents’ relationship, from surviving the horrors of the Holocaust through their double suicide in 1991. It is the February Book of the Month pick from the German Book Office. Want to win a free copy? Send your name and mailing address to gregg (at) newyork.gbo.org. (Contest open to residents of the continental US only, while supplies last.)
From the press release:
Two people have grown old together. He is terminally ill, she doesn’t want to live without him. One Sunday in autumn, they clean the apartment, leave the dog with a friend, and protect the rose-bushes against the cold of the coming winter. Then they are ready. Tactfully and affectionately, Johanna Adorján has reconstructed the day of her grandparents’ suicide. Vera and István were anything but ordinary. Chain-smoking and glamorous, they exuded the aura of a more elegant age. And they had a past that they did not discuss — even within the family. Decades ago they had fled disaster, started a new life in Denmark and — so it seemed — never looked back. Sixteen years after her grandparents’ death, Johanna Adorján sets out to fill the gaps of their story, in the process discovering unexpected things about herself and her family. Against the backdrop of the horrors of the 20th-century, she brings Vera and István back to life — a fascinating couple, peculiarly stylish, stubborn, and eccentric. With an extraordinary blend of true reporting and novelistic recreation Johanna Adorján tries to understand their last and powerful act. Beautifully written, tender but never sentimental, An Exclusive Love is a brilliantly constructed memoir and a gorgeous romance, a tale of two people who died as they lived: inseparable.