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A Sea Change

UK Publisher: Maia Press

In May 1939, the St Louis left Hamburg for Havana, carrying almost a thousand refugees from Hitler’s Germany. Over the following weeks, the ship criss-crossed the ocean, buffeted alternatively by hope and disappointment, as it sought asylum in a friendly port and war drew inexorably closer.

Based on actual events, Michael Arditti’s enthralling new novel is the memoir of one of the passengers, fifteen year-old Karl, heir to a department store fortune. He recounts both the horror and the excitement of the trip, along with his personal voyage of discovery, as he learns the truth about his family, battle’s Nazi crew members and plans a mutiny. Most momentously, he describes his first, passionate love affair with the beautiful young Johanna.

`Brilliant use of a momentous journey . . . A gripping and adroit fusion of history with personal drama’ – Rose Tremain

`A moving and heartening story in which spirit triumphs over political barbarity’ – Edna O’Brien