The Hidden Book: A Novel (Paperback)

The Hidden Book: A Novel By Kirsty Manning Cover Image
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From bestselling author Kirsty Manning comes a stunning novel based on a true story of clandestine courage in World War II as prisoners of war risk their lives to secure evidence of Nazi atrocities—and how one man concealed it for decades before passing it on to his family who struggle to understand their inherited legacy of trauma.

Austria, 1940s: Yugoslavian Nico Antonov is just one of more than 200,000 people imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp near the Danube River. Malnourished and forced into hard labor in a quarry, he still defies his captors any way he can. When fate brings him into contact with Lena Lang, a young woman living with her family in fear of their Nazi occupiers, he finds an ally.

SS officers have charged Spanish POW and photographer Mateo Baca with recording the events and prisoners of Mauthausen and to make five copies of the collected photo book for the Third Reich’s leaders. But Mateo also creates a sixth book to be smuggled out of the camp—where Nico entrusts Lena to hide it and protect their secret.

Australia, 1980s to present day: When teenager Hannah Campbell discovers her grandfather Nico’s mysterious photo album, filled with horrific visions of suffering and cruelty, the barbarities of World War II no longer feel like ancient history. Haunted by the images for years, as a university student and a married young mother, she pursues the truth behind her grandfather’s incarceration. As Hannah experiences love and loss in her own life, she comes to understand how the photos not only capture history but reflect a shared humanity that must never be forgotten.

About the Author

Kirsty Manning is the author of The Song of the Jade Lily, The Lost Jewels, and The French Gift. She grew up in northern New South Wales, Australia. She has degrees in literature and communications and worked as an editor and publishing manager in book publishing for over a decade. A country girl with wanderlust, her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east, and west coasts of the United States as well as pockets of Asia. Kirsty’s journalism and photography specializing in lifestyle and travel regularly appear in magazines, newspapers, and online. She lives in Australia.

Praise For…

“[A] twisty WWII yarn about two imprisoned French women forced into slave labor at a German rayon factory…Manning’s multilayered story is both terrifying and triumphant. Her talent for a surprising twist makes this story a must for her fans.” — Publishers Weekly on The French Gift

“Kirsty Manning weaves together little-known threads of World War II history, family secrets, the past and the present into a page-turning, beautiful novel.” — Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, on The Song of the Jade Lily

“Detailed and evocative, a beautiful multi-layered story of friendship and love, family and loyalty. The smells, sounds and tastes of wartime Shanghai are richly re-imagined but it’s the courage of the young women—past and present—which makes this book unforgettable.”  — Sally Hepworth, international bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives, on The Song of the Jade Lily

“Manning renders Shanghai as a riot of flavors, sights, and sounds, its elegance clashing against gritty poverty in this exquisite window into the past.” — Booklist (starred review) on The Song of the Jade Lily

“[A] superb take on a lesser known aspect of WWII: some European Jews, fleeing from the Nazis, received asylum in Japanese-occupied Shanghai after being denied it elsewhere....With breadth and intelligence, this exquisite novel portrays a resilient community and a secret kept to protect another.” — Publishers Weekly on The Song of the Jade Lily

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063142794
ISBN-10: 0063142791
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 13th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English