From the author of A Daughter of the Nobility:
The recent publication of a 1000-page volume on Berlin and of yet another biography of Hitler testify to the abiding interest in these subjects. Lost Heritage, a big novel by Natasha Borovsky now available on Amazon.com covers these subjects and much more.
Spanning the years preceding the rise of Hitler, through the Second World War and its aftermath, this European chronicle weaves the lives of three families -- the Holvegs, Wieslawskis and Radowills -- and their far-flung branches, against a broad historical canvas. The novel has not one but two central protagonists, from different generations. It completes the tale of exiled Russian Princess Tatyana, begun in A Daughter of the Nobility, and tells that of her son, Peter, born in the aftermath of World War I and destined to fight in World War II.
The story begins in Germany on the eve of the stock market crash of 1929. Tatyana, now a physician, is married to Professor Alexis Holveg, a half-Jewish scientist whose discoveries in atomic research will bring him into dangerous conflict with the Nazis and a confrontation with Reichsminister Hermann Goering. With the reappearance of her cousin and girlhood sweetheart, the Polish Ambassador-at-large, Stefan Wieslawski, Tatyana becomes prey to a guilty passion at the same time as she is embroiled in his marriage to his childless Scottish wife, Dorothy. Through Stefan and his high-placed Radowill relations, we follow the secret diplomatic maneuvering behind Hitler's march to power and the failure of Western democracies to stop his progress. Through Peter and Stefan's participation in the defense of Poland, we view the German invasion of Poland -- contrary to popular belief, by no means an easy campaign -- and the infamous Nazi-Soviet Pact to partition the country.
While Peter distinguishes himself in the air war over Britain and over France following the Normandy invasion, Marie-Louise Radowill, his Polish fiancee, is conscripted into a Nazi labor camp and becomes a witness to the failed July 20 (1944) putsch against Hitler. In France, during the excesses of the post-liberation épuration, Tatyana's Bolshevik inquisitor, NKVD Colonel Bedlov, surfaces to persecute her again in one of the book's most shocking and controversial sections.
"My story," writes Borovsky, "is told through a diversity of characters, not the principals alone, who serve to fill out the cultural and social fabric of a many-layered society.
For this book, I have drawn on my personal experience and knowledge of the various countries and cultures involved. Accounts by my family and by eyewitnesses of the period were the foundation of meticulous research. Some of the background information proved surprisingly difficult to obtain, such as that dealing with the Arbeitsläger, the forced labor camps. Only recently have German firms acknowledged the extent of their participation.
Who will buy this book other than fans of A Daughter of the Nobility? Those who have experience of World War II directly or through their parents and grandparents; those who are interested in the political and military history, the culture and science of that period; and those who enjoy a good story on such universal subjects as love and war. Why did such a book fail to find a major publisher? The economics of publishing require a book of this magnitude to be a best-seller. A Daughter of the Nobility despite its excellent reviews and foreign sales did not live up to the blockbuster expectations of my New York publisher. They were suspicious of an even bigger and more complex novel and so, too, were other commercial houses. With my daughter and illustrator, Malou Knapp, I founded Sila-Nova Press. After publishing two collections of poetry, we took the bold step of publishing Lost Heritage. It is my hope that the Internet will reveal the wide, discerning audience which we believe Lost Heritage deserves."