The Uprooted Saga
Original title: Les Déracinés
The saga that transports us. — ELLE, Olivia de Lamberterie
A breathless romantic fresco. — Femme Actuelle
A superb novel that skilfully intertwines the small story within the big one. — Biba
A breathtaking historical fresco. — Lire
An incredibly accurate portrait. — Page de Libraires
The Uprooted (Book 1, May 2018, 624 p.)
From the Viennese cafés of the 1930s to the beaches of the Caribbean, discover a wonderful story of love and exile, and the unusual destiny of Almah and Wilhelm.
Vienna, 1931: Wilhelm, a 25-year-old journalist, meets Almah, the love of his life. They soon marry, but their wedded bliss is shadowed by the anti-Semitism raging in their country… and aily life becomes terrifying…
Over the course of the next few years, they see many of their friends and relatives escape into exile. After an aggression, Wilhelm’s sister, Myriam, decides to flee to the USA. Although it is a wrenching decision, Wilhelm knows he must do everything he can to save Almah and their young son, so he, too, chooses to leave. Having obtained visas for the USA, they are convinced they will be able to join Myriam there. But unfortunately…
The family is stuck in a refugee camp of Switzerland. Their visas were forgeries, and besides, the United States’ immigration quota has been reached. The situation seems hopeless until a man offers them an escape route: help establish a kibbutz in the Dominican Republic. The fact is that Trujillo, the local dictator, made a deal with the Nazis: he’ll grant 100,000 visas to Jews in exchange for funds. In addition, the Jews will provide free labor to help develop the island’s infrastructure.
They finally arrive in Sosúa, in the tropical jungle. There, everything – from buildings to society – must be built from scratch. Wilhelm and Almah will have to learn to work under a withering sun and to find joy in a simple life, light-years away from the comfortable intellectual life they have been forced to leave behind in Austria. But it could also be an opportunity for them to reinvent themselves and to put down roots in a new land.
The American Woman (Book 2, March 2019, 539 p.)
As a backdrop to Ruth’s story, Catherine Bardon offers an in-depth exploration of 1960s America – music and all! – and of the cultural revolution taking place there.
Deeply attached to the themes of historic disruptions, exile and searching for one’s roots, with The American Woman, Bardon continues the stunning saga inaugurated with The Uprooted.
September 1961: Ruth lets her native land, the Dominican Republic, disappear in the wake of the ship she has boarded. Destination: New York, where she’s enrolled at the University and has already arranged an internship at the Times. Watch out, New York, here she comes! She knows in her heart that she is destined to become a journalist, just as her father, Wilhelm, had been.
Housed by her uncle and aunt, Ruth soon turns into a real New Yorker, her life filled with rock music, friendship and love. With the politics of her time, too: Kennedy’s assassination, the Civil Rights March on Washington, demonstrations against the Vietnam War, and more.
But as the years go by, Ruth begins to wonder who she really is: a blond-haired, blue-eyed Dominican? An adopted American? Why should she erase her Austrian roots? Would she feel more at home in Israel, where her godmother would welcome her? How can she find her roots, when her parents had to flee and entirely reinvent their lives?
And Life Resumed Its Course (Book 3, May 2020, 336 p.)
In the heart of the Caribbean, in the Dominican Republic, the Rosenheck family opens a new chapter in its history, covering the years 1967-1979.
Every day, Ruth congratulates herself for having listened to her little inner voice: it is in the Dominican Republic that she had to put her suitcases. At her place. Just look at his daughter Gaya to be sure. Seeing her take her first steps and grow alongside her cousins, she feels serene, and peaceful.
By returning to the land of her childhood, she also finds Almah, her mother. Little by little, life resumes its course and Ruth – just like Arturo and Nathan – sows the seeds of her new life, far from the upheavals of her time: Six-Day War, the assassination of Martin Luther King, fall of Salvador Allende… Until the day when Lizzie, his childhood friend, returns to Sosúa in painful conditions…
An Invincible Summer (Book 4, April 2021, 408 pages)
The last part of the unforgettable saga of the Uprooted: a novel of commitment and resilience, An invincible summer closes with passion a moving romantic fresco.
Since returning to Sosúa, Dominican Republic, Ruth has been fighting alongside Almah for her loved ones and for the memory of her community as tourists begin to flood the island.
Gaya, his daughter, affirms her independence and leaves for the United States, where Arturo and Nathan lead their lives as artists. Like her mother, she leads her own fight in the light of her passions.
The Rosenheck-Soteras tribe has adopted the maxim of the poet Salomé Ureña: “It is by continuing to fight to create the country of our dreams that we will make a homeland of the land under our feet. But history, as always, will catch up with them. From the attack on the World Trade Center to the terrible earthquake of 2010 in Haiti, passing through the riots in the Dominican Republic, everyone will make their way, despite the obstacles and the madness of the world.
A novel of commitment and resilience, An invincible summer brilliantly closes an impressive romantic fresco.
- A huge bestseller in France, that has sold more than half a million copies and won 7 literary prizes.
- Possibility to abbreviate the text, or split each book into two volumes.
- Based on true events, this enjoyably novelistic saga will immerse you in a little-known facet of Jewish history.
- Catherine Bardon has been spending her time between France and the Dominican Republic for many years.