by Joanna Hershon

Berlin, 1861. Eva Frank, a sixteen-year-old Jewess, has her portrait painted, which leads to an indiscretion that has devastating consequences. Desperate to escape a painful situation, Eva marries Abraham Shein, an ambitious merchant who has returned home to Germany for the first time in a decade since establishing himself in the American West. The young bride leaves Berlin and its ghosts for an unfamiliar life halfway across the world, traversing the icy waters of the Atlantic and the rugged, sweeping terrain of the Santa Fe Trail.

Though Eva’s existence in the rough and burgeoning community of Sante Fe, New Mexico, is a far cry from her life as a daughter of privilege, she soon begins to settle into the mystifying town. But this new setting cannot keep at bay the overwhelming memories of her former life, nor can it protect her from an increasing threat to her own safety that will force Eva to make a fateful decision.


One of the Best Books of 2008
The Washington Post (link)

One of the 25 cultural highlights of 2008

One of the Best Books of 2008
–NPR (link)

To the many expressions of this threshold experience in American immigration literature, by authors from Anzia Yereskia to Jhumpa Lahiri, Hershon adds an eloquent voice.
The Washington Post (link)

Joanna Hershon had the inspired idea to set her novel among the German-born merchants and traders who in the middle of the 19th century left Europe for the raw possibilities of the American West.
The New York Times Book Review (link)

…an imaginative take on the 19th-century American frontier story.
The Boston Globe

An elegantly written historical novel…
Vanity Fair

Ms. Hershon succeeds in spinning a devastatingly realistic tale of a young life defined by loss—and, ultimately, by resilience.
The New York Sun (link)

At once lyrical and heartbreaking…A beautifully written tale of small sufferings and redemptions.
–Kirkus (Starred Review) (link)

Joanna Hershon’s new book, The German Bride, is a surprising novel of grace and refinement. It is a tale of the American West, but unlike any I have ever read before. She enters Willa Cather territory and does it with a rare elegance and complete originality. I was not familiar with Joanna Hershon’s work when I read this novel and it made me order her first two books.
–Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides

Wonderful from start to finish.
–Maria Doria Russell, author of A Thread of Grace

A lush and gripping novel…an elegant and mesmerizing testament to human adaptability and survival.
–Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life

The German Bride, Joanna Hershon’s third novel, is that rare thing: a historical novel that unfolds organically without a whole lot of “Look at me! I’m a historical novel!”
–Elisa Albert for JEWCY