The Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret

The Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret

4.3 7
by Eve Haas
     
 

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“The beautiful owner of this book is dearer to me than my life – August your protector.” This one sentence was the key to a mystery involving some of the greatest and most infamous figures in European history, from Frederick the Great to Napoleon and Hitler—and solved by the author of this book.

Eve Haas is the daughter of a German Jewish

Overview


“The beautiful owner of this book is dearer to me than my life – August your protector.” This one sentence was the key to a mystery involving some of the greatest and most infamous figures in European history, from Frederick the Great to Napoleon and Hitler—and solved by the author of this book.

Eve Haas is the daughter of a German Jewish family that took refuge in London after Hitler came to power. Following a terrifying air raid in the blitz, her father revealed the family secret, that her great-great grandmother Emilie was married to a Prussian prince. He then showed her the treasured leather-bound notebook inscribed to Emilie by the prince. Her parents were reluctant to learn more, but later in life, when Eve was married and inherited the diary, she became obsessed with proving this birthright. The Secrets of the Notebook tells how she follows the clues, from experts on European royalty in London to archives in West Germany and then, under threat of being arrested as a spy by the Communist regime, to an archive in East Germany that had never before opened its doors to the West. What she unearths is a love story set against the upheaval of the Napoleonic wars and the antiSemitism of the Prussian court, and a ruse that both protected Emilie’s daughter and probably condemned her granddaughter—Eve’s beloved grandmother, Anna—to death in the Nazi camps.

When first published in the UK, The Secrets of the Notebook was an Irish Times bestseller. A movie based on the book is in production. 

Editorial Reviews

Family History Monthly
“An eye-opening, riveting tale full of suspense, drama, and anguish.”
Sunday Express
“Eve Haas put herself in great danger to unravel the mystery.”
BBC Magazine
“Fascinating.”
Kirkus Reviews
2013-08-15
A German Jewish woman's story of how an heirloom family notebook led to the discovery of her connection to a forgotten hero of the Napoleonic wars. World War II had just begun when Haas' father decided to show her a notebook he told her had belonged to his great-grandfather Prince Augustus of Prussia but had been written by Augustus' daughter, Charlotte. The 16-year-old Haas was full of questions; her father warned her against looking for more information because "there [was] nothing more to find out." The book finally came into her hands 30 years later, igniting her old curiosity. She had to find out how "this romantic sounding prince [had come] to be with a Jewish tailor's daughter" named Emilie. Haas began an odyssey that would take her from her home in London to archives in East Germany that no one from the West had entered in more than 40 years. The information she found not only offered exciting glimpses into a bygone world, but also revealed that Augustus was a social progressive who supported Jews during a time of fierce anti-Semitism. Haas also discovered that Emilie was neither Jewish nor poor and that Augustus was under royal edict to leave behind no legitimate heirs. After his death, Emilie deliberately entrusted Charlotte to Augustus' tailor so that the child would remain safe from possible assassination. The twists and turns Haas discovered in her family's past mirrored her actual journey and included a bizarre offer to spy for the East German government in exchange for microfilmed copies of archive documents. The author's enthusiasm for probing the secrets of Augustus' notebook is evident throughout the narrative, but she does not always plumb the complexity of her own feelings toward the journey, which took her to places with often painful associations. A mostly pedestrian treatment of an intriguing topic.
From the Publisher

"A roller-coaster ride full of twists and turns, as Eve battle through the dungeons of history to discover her amazing family secrets." —Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and wife of former prime minister Tony Blair

"A deadly family secret is uncovered by one courageous woman in this true-life Cold War thriller. A compelling, inspiring read, beautifully and honestly written." —John Rutter, CBE, internationally renowned composer and conductor

"Fascinating." —BBC News Magazine

“The astonishing discoveries lead to more questions; and the climax makes you go back to the beginning. What else is missing from the history books?” —Booklist

“Eve Haas put herself in great danger to unravel the mystery.” —Sunday Express

“An eye-opening, riveting tale full of suspense, drama, and anguish.” —Family History Monthly

"The author's enthusiasm for probing the secrets of Augustus' notebook is evident throughout the narrative . . . The twists and turns Haas discovered in her family's past mirrored her actual journey. . . . and took her to places with often painful associations." —Kirkus Reviews

"Eve Haas skillfully weaves several stories into this memoir. . . . [The Secrets of the Notebook] will have broad appeal, and moreover, make an important contribution to both the history of Europe since Napoleon and of World War II Germany and its citizens." —Story Circle Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611459067
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
10/01/2013
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
191,116
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author


Eve Haas was born in Breslau, now Poland, in 1924. She and her family fled Germany to London when Hitler came to power. She pursued a writing career, married, and raised a family, continuing to write children’s books and contribute to magazines and newspapers in the UK. She lives in North London, England.

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The Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down. 215 pages. Very interesting reading. Especially for history buffs. Loved it! Recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JacksonvilleReader More than 1 year ago
The background information provided about Ms. Haas' family was good for someone who has an interest in Prussian history. There were several discoveries that came out late in the book, particularly from family members, that made me wonder why they had not been shared earlier in her quest. I don't want to spoil for anyone who hasn't ready. I found the efforts they had to go through in the Cold War era to search official records chilling and a reminder that we aren't that far removed from the Iron Curtain. Would probably make a good movie.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE SECRETS OF THE NOTEBOOK: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret by Eve Haas is an intriguing history/memoir based on a true story. Holocaust tragedy plus a love story! Follow Eve as she learns secrets of her family's past, European royalty, the intrigue of Prussian court, a forbidden marriage, and its tragic consequences. A powerful story set against the backdrop of WWII. If you enjoy a bit of espionage, mystery, danger, the Cold War, along with romance, secrets, and legends than you are in for a treat with "The Secrets of the Notebook". A very complex tale of drama, suspense, and anguish. "Eve is the daughter of German jewish family that took refuge in England during World War II" and this is her and her family's story. An interesting tale indeed! Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: Mild REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More