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Synopsis

Germany, WWI and WWII: War devastates the lives of ordinary citizens. While the country’s face was changing and men died in battle by the millions, the women’s psyche and role was also changing. Ursula Meister, an insatiably curious child, has an innate sense of independence and is a keen observer. Coming-of-age after the end of WWII, Ursula’s sense of self is adversely affected by her mother, a beautiful but repressive, insensitive, punishing woman. Ursula longs for her father, a soldier in the German army who is absent during her formative years. However, when he finally returns, she feels estranged. Finding solace in listening to family tales through her Aunt Lidia’s storytelling, Ursula learns of the women before her who survived hardships more severe than hers.Faced with war time’s extreme insecurity, but equipped with intelligence and strength, Ursula must find for herself her true beliefs, her worth, and eventually her freedom and independence. Uta Christensen writes a poignant and engrossing coming-of-age story and family saga that explores the emotional boundaries of family dynamics—in the lives, loves, losses, and joys of three generations—and the strength of the women bearing the brunt of tragedy. A beautiful and compelling read, Bed of Roses, Bed of Thorns will stay with you long after the final page is read.

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