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The Porcelain Maker    by Sarah Freethy order for
Porcelain Maker
by Sarah Freethy
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2023 (2023)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Sarah Freethy's The Porcelain Maker moves back and forth in time between 1920s - 1930s Germany and America and Europe in the 1990s, when Clara Vogel is on a quest to locate porcelain figurines - and find out the real identity of her father. She comes upon a photo of her mother and two prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp. How that came about pulls reader interest in the story.

Back to 1925 Germany when Jewish architect Max Ehrlich first meets avant-garde painter Bettina Vogel through their mutual friend Richard Amsel. They fall in love and move in together. Bettina's fascist brother and her parents disapprove of her. Slowly, Berlin changes. Max's name becomes a liability and Bettina's art is seen as degenerate. When they think about leaving, it's too late.

As all worsens in Germany, Richard arranges a job for Max in a porcelain factory, near Bettina's family farm. She reluctantly returns home and surreptitiously visits Max. Then they're betrayed and Max is sent to Dachau, where only his talent in making porcelain figurines keeps him alive. Bettina seeks a way to rescue him and escape, but tragedy strikes.

Clara's daughter Lotte offers to be Watson to her Holmes, and they do uncover their family history. The Porcelain Maker is a gripping read.

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