The Austrian Bride by Helen Parusel


The Austrian Bride by Helen Parusel is a marvellous historical novel that will educate you as you read. The main characters are fictitious but the events are true.

The novel is set in Linz, Austria in 1938 and up to the outbreak of World War II. It was a time of great change. People voted for the Anschluss with Germany but were ignorant as to what that really meant. They believed it would be jobs, peace and prosperity. The reality was a reign of terror. Many felt guilty about voting for unification with Nazi Germany.

A character also feels guilt from an event thirty years earlier. How different life would be for the whole world if she had just made different choices.

Persecution of the Jewish people began. We hear of Kristallnacht and see the cruelty and man’s inhumanity to man. “To defy the Nazis was to be prepared to die.” – not many were that brave, however when one character speaks up, others join their voice.

As Edmund Burke famously said “for evil to flourish, it just needs good men to do nothing.” Far too many blind eyes were turned. However, there were those souls who were brave, and stood up to help those in need.

We follow a forbidden love. It is a love that is beautiful to witness. In contrast there is the ugliness of the Nazi bride school where young women are taught how to be good Nazi wives.

Many are hiding secrets. Most are admirable because they are helping the persecuted. One is a hypocrite, pretending to be something he is not and involved in dreadful persecution along the way.

The Austrian Bride was a powerful read of love, secrets, lies and betrayal. I greedily devoured it.

I received a free copy via Rachel’s Random Resources. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


The Austrian Bride

Austria, 1938

After years of hardship, Ella is full of hope for a better future for Austrians, and when Hitler marches into Linz, she can’t help but become swept up in the euphoria of her boyfriend, Max.

But she soon realises her mistake. When she witnesses a woman being shot in the street and a childhood friend’s Jewish department store is closed down, she knows she must do something.

It’s a dangerous time to be a resistor, especially when her fascist boyfriend proposes to her. Knowing the secrets she can uncover, Ella enlists in a Reich Bride School, finding herself propelled into the social elite of the Nazi circle.

Ella knows she has a duty – to her family, her friends, and her country – so while Europe teeters on the brink of WW2, a desperate race begins to save the people she loves. But betraying the Nazis could be her death sentence…

A powerful and unforgettable story of the strength of women and the unwavering courage of those who seek a better world. Fans of Suzanne Goldring, Mandy Robotham and Debbie Rix will devour this heartbreaking tale.

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Author Bio –

Helen Parusel is a debut historical novelist, having been a teacher and a clothes buyer for M&S. She lives in Hamburg, and her first book is based on the Nazi invasion of Norway in 1940; while her second is inspired by war stories from her mother’s homeland of Austria, where she spent her early holidays.

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