An historical novel about a young Jewish woman who risks her life in the anti-Nazi underground. . .
“In her well-researched novel, Fillmore vividly portrays Amsterdam, Rachel, and her family. . . An intense tale that gives the tragedies of history a Dutch dwelling and a family name.” — Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Indie Books of the Month, March 2017
Winner, Sarton Women’s Book Award for Historical Fiction
“Must read” lists from PopSugar, Brit + Co, BuzzFeed, Bookstr, and Culturalist. Redbook says it’s “the biggest literary event for the historical fiction genre this year.”
Rachel Klein’s world changes forever when the Nazis invade the Netherlands. An Address in Amsterdam explores how a protected teenager quickly becomes a passionate and political woman when she realizes how uncertain her future is. After her lover must disappear rather than face arrest, Rachel witnesses the first roundup of Jews, and marches in the city-wide February Strike which follows, the only such protest in Europe.
Although she used to avoid politics, Rachel becomes a courier for the underground. Almost every day for 18 months, she searches for addresses and confronts her fears, the Nazis – and her parents. This loving couple disagrees deeply about how seriously to take the Nazis. Her socialist mother, from Diamond Workers’ Union stock, believes the worst. In contrast, Rachel’s father is a German-born doctor who, like many other assimilated Dutch Jews, can’t believe the Netherlands is no longer the safe haven it has been since the Spanish Inquisition. When she sees how serious the Nazi threat is, Rachel pushes her parents to go into hiding. Her mother is ready, but will her father ever agree?
The novel is based on research since 2002 in many archives, museums, libraries and historic sites, in the Netherlands, Los Angeles, Washington, and elsewhere. When they fit into Rachel’s compelling story, key scenes are recreated, such as the Nazi invasion from the air, the raid on an ice cream parlor which caused a major crackdown, registration of the Jewish population, a surprising range of reactions to the yellow stars, and neighborhood roundups for deportation.
An excerpt from An Address in Amsterdam appeared in jewishfiction.net in Spring 2015.