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The Winter Orphans

A novel by

A poignant and ultimately triumphant novel based on the incredible true story of children who braved the formidable danger of guarded, wintry mountain passes in France to escape the Nazis, from the acclaimed author of Courage, My Love.

Southern France, 1942

In a remote corner of France, Jewish refugee Ella Rosenthal has finally found a safe haven. It has been three years since she and her little sister, Hanni, left their parents to flee Nazi Germany, and they have been pursued and adrift in the chaos of war ever since. Now, they shelter among one hundred other young refugees in a derelict castle overseen by the Swiss Red Cross.
Swiss volunteers Rösli Näf and Anne-Marie Piguet uphold a common mission: to protect children in peril. Rösli, a stubborn and resourceful nurse, directs the colony of Château de la Hille, and has created a thriving community against all odds. Anne-Marie, raised by Swiss foresters, becomes both caretaker and friend to the children, and she vows to do whatever is necessary to keep them safe.
However, when Germany invades southern France, safeguarding Jewish refugees becomes impossible. Château de la Hille faces unrelenting danger, and Rösli and Anne-Marie realize that the only way to protect the eldest of their charges is to smuggle them out of France. Relying on Rösli's fierce will and Anne-Marie's knowledge of secret mountain paths, they plot escape routes through vast Nazi-occupied territory to the distant border. Amid staggering risk, Ella and Hanni embark on a journey that, if successful, could change the course of their lives and grant them a future.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"The Winter Orphans had me holding my breath with every page turn. Kristin Beck does an excellent job of reminding us of what every day bravery looks like, and how one person's decision to do the right thing can keep the flames of hope alive." - Kaia Alderson

"An extraordinary tale of courage, strength and heroism. Inspired by true events, The Winter Orphans takes us into WWII's war-torn France where we fall in love with a group of Jewish refugee children, and the courageous women given the impossible task of protecting them. This story is a testament to the endurance of the human spirit, and a reminder that fighting for those you love, and what you believe in, can make all the difference." - Serena Burdick

"Moving and unforgettable, The Winter Orphans is a masterful tale about Red Cross workers in Occupied France whose courage and defiance helped save Jewish children during WW2--and the children who grew up too soon." - Janie Chang

"A poignant story of courage and sacrifice, The Winter Orphans is another extraordinary novel by Kristin Beck. Based on the powerful true story of the Jewish children who escaped France during the Nazi-occupation and the Red Cross workers who fought to bring them to safety, Beck's novel is an emotional and resonant page-turner. A beautiful book!" - Chanel Cleeton

"A poignant, and riveting story of enduring hope, Kristin Beck pens a brilliant, harrowing tale of the Jewish children protected by the Swiss Red Cross in France during the dangerous occupation of Germans, and the remarkable, brave people who risked their lives to help them escape. With each heart-pounding page, readers will hold onto hope that the children make it to safety. Have your tissues ready, this is a book that will keep you up late into the night just to see what happens next!" - Eliza Knight

"Kristin Beck is proving herself to be an author to watch. Following in the footsteps of the wonderful Courage, My Love, her latest, The Winter Orphans, shows what a powerhouse storyteller she is. It's an extraordinary tale of valor, sacrifice, and true heroism. Warning--tissues are required, but the book is ultimately one that warms the heart and touches the soul." - Natasha Lester

"Beck's latest is an engrossing tale of impossible choices, grace, and grit in the perilous depths of war. Skillfully rendered in beautiful prose, the survival stories of Rosli, Ella, and Anne-Marie held me in thrall to the end." - Kerri Maher

"A powerfully moving novel about Jewish children escaping from Nazi-occupied France and the brave women who faced insurmountable obstacles to see them to safety. Kristen Beck has crafted an exquisite read that made me laugh one moment, then cry then next with characters so endearing, they left an indelible mark on me. Readers everywhere will love this book!" - Madeline Martin

"Impossible to turn away from . . . an engrossing and heart wrenching tale of courage and survival. This novel solidifies Beck's place among the best of today's historical fiction authors." - Renée Rosen

"Captivating from the first page, Kristin Beck's The Winter Orphans captures the heart-thudding terror and bravery of Jewish children trapped within Occupied France--as well as the heroism of those within the Swiss Red Cross who risked it all to bring them to safety. With beautiful prose and unforgettable characters, this is a novel you don't want to miss." - Bryn Turnbull

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