The Woman with the Blue Star
In Conversation with Alyson Richman, NYT Bestselling Author
Former diplomat and Cambridge-educated historian Pam Jenoff has become a mainstay at the top of historical fiction lists. The Orphan’s Tale sold hundreds of thousands of copies while earning weeks on bestseller lists and the follow-up, The Lost Girls of Paris, stayed on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, among others, for over 20 weeks, while selling well-over a half-million copies and counting. Her deep research and emotional storytelling have made her a favorite of readers and critics alike. Join us as she discusses her latest will-be blockbuster, The Woman with the Blue Star.
1942. Sadie Gault is eighteen and living with her parents amidst the horrors of the Krakow Ghetto during World War II. When the Nazis liquidate the ghetto, Sadie and her pregnant mother are forced to seek refuge in the perilous sewers beneath the city. One day Sadie looks up through a grate and sees a girl about her own age buying flowers.
Ella Stepanek is an affluent Polish girl living a life of relative ease with her stepmother, who has developed close alliances with the occupying Germans. Scorned by her friends and longing for her fiancé who has gone off to war, Ella wanders Krakow restlessly. While on an errand in the market, she catches a glimpse of something moving beneath a grate in the street. Upon closer inspection, she realizes it’s a girl hiding. Ella begins to aid Sadie and the two become close, but as the dangers of the war worsen, their lives are set on a collision course that will test them in the face of overwhelming odds.As with all her books, Jenoff took a small, little-known nugget from history and created a gripping and powerful story of survival against unimaginable odds. Inspired by the harrowing true stories of people who hid in the sewers beneath the streets of Europe in order to escape the Nazis, Jenoff blends vivid historical detail with a riveting and emotional story, shedding new light on this dark time in history.
Pam Jenoff is the author of several books of historical fiction, including many the bestsellers, She holds a degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her JD from UPenn. Her novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives with her husband and 3 children near Philadelphia, where she teaches law.