But it is really about two realities that matter a great deal to my heart.
The first is the experience of reunion with and “coming home to” our truest self that we all must eventually encounter in our life. We each have our own timetable for this, but my opportunity to accompany many people toward the end of their lives has assured me that this is so.
The second, and particularly fascinating, for me, is the mysterious role that others play in that process, often in highly unexpected ways.
Yet, similar to characters in the story, some of the kindest, most morally courageous people I knew were those Germans who never wanted the war, or National Socialism, and found creative ways to outlast it and to help others as they did.
They found the way to endure, not lose heart, and keep faith and hope in times of enormous destruction and suffering.
And, they made meaningful choices wherever they could, mostly on behalf of others, more than themselves.
As Elizabeth Sims, novelist and contributing editor at Writer’s Digest noted in her kind comments about the novel:
“Love can manifest itself in enigmatic—and unexpected—ways.”
This month, life unfolds a continuing series of wonders about how our human family is going forward together, whether or not war — and hatred — try to assert their presence in the world. I am humbled daily in my encounters here in Germany with those who are seeking a safe life for their children and themselves, and those who have open willing hearts to help them. There is so much learning (and laughter!) on both sides of this engagement and interaction. A new culture of learning together, one might even say.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would write a novel with Hitler’s wife as one of its characters.
Never for a moment did I imagine that the book would come out into the world while I am in Germany. Certainly, I never planned for that.
And never could I have imagined that I would find the themes of that book’s story reflected back to me as the descendants of those who were once in flight for safety here themselves — plus a few who remember the actual experience from childhood — so willingly offer their hands and hearts to the many who are arriving here.
Find more about The Munich Girl: A Novel of The Legacies That Outlast War at: