THE GERMAN GIRL by Armando Lucas Correa
The liner ST. LOUIS left Germany with 900 German Jews bound for Cuba in 1939. Most had left behind their fortune, their property and the heritage of many years. They carried with them signed documents allowing them to stay in Cuba until their visa numbers allowed them to move on to the US, Canada or Mexico. The ship was not allowed to dock in Havana.
THE GERMAN GIRL follows Hannah, a young girl aboard the St. Louis, from her sheltered life in Germany until her death many years later. Finely crafted characters people this tale of love and loss through the war, the Revolution in Cuba and the fall of the Twin Towers. Hannah and her great niece, Anna, carry the plot to its not-quite-satisfying conclusion. Conclusion aside, this is a lovely book that sheds light on a mostly forgotten piece of World War II history and the perfidy of Cuba, the US president and the other leaders of “enlightened” nations.
Book groups will find much to discuss, especially with the anti-immigration mood of current politics.
4 of 5 stars