The Sunflower House: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Family secrets come to light as a young woman fights to save herself, and others, in a Nazi-run baby factory—a real-life Handmaid's Tale—during World War II.

In a sleepy German village, Allina Strauss’s life seems idyllic: she works at her uncle’s bookshop, makes strudel with her aunt, and spends weekends with her friends and fiancé. But it's 1939, Adolf Hitler is Chancellor, and Allina’s family hides a terrifying secret—her birth mother was Jewish, making her a Mischling.

One fateful night after losing everyone she loves, Allina is forced into service as a nurse at a state-run baby factory called Hochland Home. There, she becomes both witness and participant to the horrors of Heinrich Himmler’s ruthless eugenics program.

The Sunflower House is a meticulously-researched debut historical novel that uncovers the notorious Lebensborn Program of Nazi Germany. Women of “pure” blood stayed in Lebensborn homes for the sole purpose of perpetuating the Aryan population, giving birth to thousands of babies who were adopted out to “good” Nazi families. Allina must keep her Jewish identity a secret in order to survive, but when she discovers the neglect occurring within the home, she’s determined not only to save herself, but also the children in her care.

A tale of one woman’s determination to resist and survive, The Sunflower House is also a love story. When Allina meets Karl, a high-ranking SS officer with secrets of his own, the two must decide how much they are willing to share with each other—and how much they can stand to risk as they join forces to save as many children as they can. The threads of this poignant and heartrending novel weave a tale of loss and love, friendship and betrayal, and the secrets we bury in order to save ourselves.

About the Author

ADRIANA ALLEGRI is a first-generation American whose parents lived in Europe before, during, and after World War II. She grew up on stories about how small acts of compassion saved lives. A former high school teacher and educational program administrator, Allegri also served as a writer/project manager for a leading data analytics company. Allegri spent fifteen years in the New York metro area but is happily relocated in Chandler, Arizona with her two ornery rescue cats. The Sunflower House is her first novel.

Praise For…

"The Sunflower House is an unforgettable story of love and sacrifice. Written with heartfelt compassion for people facing choices no one should be made to make, this novel draws you in and leaves you a better person for knowing this story. Allegri is an author to watch, and this is an exceptional debut." - Heather Morris, #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

“Adriana Allegri’s impressive debut is a riveting, heartrending story of love, sacrifice, and redemption set amid the horrors of the notorious Nazi Lebensborn Program. Immersive and full of compelling characters, The Sunflower House is a moving tribute to the power of ordinary people to resist and to overcome.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Resistance Women

"A remarkable debut inspired by unimaginable events during WW2. Heart-wrenching and yet full of tenderness and hope, The Sunflower House is emotionally propulsive from first page to last, transporting the reader to the 1930s and into the heart and mind of a young woman whose bravery and selflessness carries the story to its heart-rending conclusion. Meticulously researched and written with a keen sensitivity to the difficult subject matter, I was captivated by the characters and by a piece of history I knew nothing about. Adriana Allegri is an exciting new talent in historical fiction." - Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Lifeboat

"The Sunflower House is an emotional and captivating read that peels away the secrets surrounding the Lebensborn program in Germany. Adriana Allegri has written a spectacular debut that will make a splash in the world of WWII historical fiction." - Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London

"The Sunflower House is a gripping tale about the horrors of the Lebensborn Program, told through the eyes of Allina, a half-Jewish woman who must hide her heritage as she confronts the terrible reality behind the Nazis' twisted drive to become the so-called 'master race.' With rich prose and complex characters, The Sunflower House is one you won’t be able to put down." - Bryn Turnbull, internationally bestselling author of The Woman Before Wallis

"This chilling novel sheds light on a little-known WWII atrocity through the eyes of its reluctant heroine. Heartbreaking and beautifully written, The Sunflower House is a story about a woman upended by trauma and secrets, who must ignore her conscience and become part of the lie she loathes most in order to survive, go forward and love again. An inspirational read that will linger long after you’ve finished the last page." —Shelly Sanders, bestselling author of Daughters of the Occupation

"In her debut historical novel, Adriana Allegri transports readers into the heart of a story that is both poignant and evocative...The novel is a brilliant debut." - Mary Calvi, 14-time New York Emmy Award-winning journalist and author of If a Poem Could Live and Breathe

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250326522
ISBN-10: 1250326524
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: November 12th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English