In war-torn Poland of 1939, all twelve-year-old Countess Anna Vladisciuszko wanted was to lead an ordinary life but the world wouldn’t let her. Nazis hated her grandmother's Jewish ancestry while after the war; communists hated the old aristocracy of pre-war Poland. Only the British where she became a refugee are prepared to help. She was placed in an orphanage under an assumed name but the conditions were hard and under the rule of a sadistic matron.
Later, friends Johnny, Sally, Janice and herself are evacuated onto a ship bound for Canada but it is torpedoed and the four find themselves alone on a life raft. Three of them are eventually rescued and taken to Gibraltar where a British officer knows of Anna's ancestry. The three are given new identities as the Baker family and sent to New Zealand on a troop ship.
When the war is over, Anna cannot return home as the communists now control Poland and even in distant New Zealand she is in danger from communists trying to assassinate former Polish aristocrats.
Countess in Exile is a thriller, a love story and the story of human endurance.
These are wrapped in a journey that reaches across the world from war torn Europe to New Zealand through the second half of the twentieth century and into the new millennium.
Your emotions will be stretched to their very limits and you will feel as if you are a part of Anna as the young girl, the woman and later the elderly lady who never forgets her aristocratic home in an Old World that will never be the same again.
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About the Author
After a career as a teacher and principal of mainly small rural schools, Ross Richdale lives in the small university city of Palmerston North in the North Island of New Zealand where he writes contemporary novels and science fiction. He is married with three adult children and six grandchildren.
His interest in current events and international incidents serve as a backdrop for many of his novels. Ordinary people rather than the super rich super powerful or violent, are the main characters in his stories. His plots also reflect his interest in the rural lifestyle as well as the cross section of personalities encountered during his years as a teacher.