Download A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis Audiobook

A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Womans Harrowing Escape from the Nazis Audiobook, by Françoise Frenkel Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Françoise Frenkel Narrator: Jilly Bond Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2019 ISBN: 9781797105192
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WINNER OF THE JQ–WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE

“A beautiful and important book” (The Independent) in the tradition of rediscovered works like Suite Française and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, the prize-winning memoir of a fearless Jewish bookseller on a harrowing fight for survival across Nazi-occupied Europe.

In 1921, Françoise Frenkel—a Jewish woman from Poland—fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin’s first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. In 1935, the scene continues to darken. First come the new bureaucratic hurdles, followed by frequent police visits and book confiscations.

Françoise’s dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Françoise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Françoise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her.

Published quietly in 1945, then rediscovered nearly sixty years later in an attic, A Bookshop in Berlin is a remarkable story of survival and resilience, of human cruelty and human spirit. In the tradition of Suite Française and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, this book is the tale of a fearless woman whose lust for life and literature refuses to leave her, even in her darkest hours. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An astonishing memoir…as gripping as any thriller.”

    Sunday Times (London)

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About the Author

Françoise Frenkel was born in Poland in 1889. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, she opened the first French-language bookshop in Berlin with her husband. In 1939, after her bookshop was destroyed in Kristallnacht, she sought refuge in Paris, fleeing to occupied Vichy after the German invasion the following year. After several years in hiding, she escaped across the border to Switzerland, where she wrote a memoir documenting her refugee experience. Originally published in 1945 as Rien où poser sa tête (No Place to Lay One’s Head), the memoir was rediscovered in an attic in Southern France in 2010 and republished in the original French. Frenkel died in Nice in 1975.

About the Narrator

Jilly Bond has worked extensively in theater and radio for many years. Her stage credits include Miranda in The Tempest, Fiona in When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout, and Anita in A Small Family Business. She is regularly heard in dramas for Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. She has won two AudioFile Earphones Awards for her audiobook narration.