From the picturesque streets of pre-war Vienna to Britain’s atmospheric cities in the grip of war, Esther’s Children is the perfect read for fans of Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network, and Kelly Rimmer’s The Warsaw Orphan.
Inspired by the extraordinary life of Esther Simpson, Esther’s Children is a powerful novel of love and courage.
Austria, 1936: Esther ‘Tess’ Simpson works for a British organisation that rescues academics from the cruel Fascist and anti-Semitic regimes taking hold in Europe. On a dangerous trip to Vienna to help bring aid to Europe’s threatened Jewish scholars, Esther meets Harry Singer, a young Jewish academic and musician.
Tess works tirelessly to rescue at-risk academics and scientists from across Europe, trying to find positions for them in Britain and America. In 1938, she secures employment for Harry at Imperial College, London, their love affair intensifying as the world heads into war; yet they are separated once again as Britain moves to intern European refugees.
With Harry detained on the Isle of Man while still waiting for news of his parents, Esther and the Society plead with the government for the interned scientists’ release. When Harry is eventually liberated, his future with Esther is by no means secure as he faces an impossible choice.
Confronting the horrific dangers of World War Two with remarkable integrity and bravery, Esther Simpson is revealed as an exceptional heroine.
Paperback, Allen & Unwin Publishing, 2022