Author Julie Thomas is launching the final novel in her Horowitz trilogy on Monday, June 11 at Paper Plus.
The trilogy began with The Keeper of Secrets and Rachel’s Legacy, finishes with Levi’s War.
When she self-published her first novel, The Keeper of Secrets, as an ebook – the story of a priceless violin and 18-year-old Simon Horowitz’s war-time experiences in Nazi Germany – Julie had no plans for a sequel, let alone two.
First came Rachel’s Legacy, the mystery of a young Jewish woman who is forced to give up her baby daughter while fighting for the Resistance in Berlin, and now, finally, Levi’s War.
In November 1938, Berlin is a volatile place for a Jew, and the talented young musician secures passage to Switzerland. Instead, Levi is taken to a Danish border checkpoint and from then on, his war becomes secret, even from those he loves.
“It was a difficult book to write,” Julie said. “When I started to research special operations executive (SOE) agents on whom Levi was based, their stories were so heroic and often tragic, and I began to doubt my ability to do them justice. From his perspective, Levi was in double jeopardy – being a Jew in a Nazi uniform and being homosexual.”
With Levi’s War, the story of the Horowitz family comes to an end. Julie said she has loved writing this series. “The characters are close to my heart. They are representations of the survivors I have met and the stories I have read. Their courage remains awe-inspiring,” she said.
Julie moved to Cambridge from Auckland in 2011 and then, when the town became “too crowded”, on to Putaruru, where she has continued to write.