We've teamed up with HarperCollins to celebrate the release of Ashes, inspired by Christopher De Vinck’s real-life family history. One lucky gransnetter will win the chance to delve into their own family history with a 12 month subscription to Ancestry worth just under £120, along with a copy of the book. 10 runners-up will also win a copy of Ashes.
Ashes is a deeply touching novel, based on true events, about two young women whose differences, which once united them, will tear them apart forever, during Hitler’s Nazi occupation of Belgium and France. It's the perfect novel for fans of All The Light We Cannot See and Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Belgium, July 1939: Simone Lyon is the daughter of a Belgium national hero, the famous General Joseph Lyon. Her best friend Hava Daniels, is the eldest daughter of a devout Jewish family. Despite growing up in different worlds, they are inseparable.
But when, in the spring of 1940, Nazi planes and tanks begin bombing Brussels, their resilience and strength are tested. Hava and Simone find themselves caught in the advancing onslaught and are forced to flee.
In an emotionally-charged race for survival, even the most harrowing horrors cannot break their bonds of love and friendship. The two teenage girls will see their innocence fall, against the ugly backdrop of a war dictating that theirs was a friendship that should never have been.
This is the first novel by 69-year-old Christopher de Vinck and is inspired by the author’s own family history. His grandfather, the Belgian war hero Major General Joseph Kesten served in the Belgian army during World War Two as part of the Belgian resistance, before being captured and imprisoned in Spain. Following his liberation, he and his family, including the author’s mother, fled Brussels for New Jersey, USA via London, England to survive the onslaught of the invading Nazi forces.
Christopher de Vinck says: "When family members shared with me what it was like to live under Nazi occupation for four years, I felt compelled to write Ashes. It has taken me most of my life to develop the understanding to truly tell this story. I hope that this book has the old-world power to move people towards that soul that we all share."
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Simply fill in the form and answer the question below by 11am 21 September for the chance to win an annual subscription to Ancestry worth over £100 and a copy of Ashes.