Stay away from Gretchen

A great love during dark times

A young woman, an African-American Gi and the secret of a forbidden love

The well-known Cologne news anchor Tom Monderath is worried about his 84-year-old mother Greta, who is growing increasingly forgetful. What was initially an annoyance in his seemingly perfect life becomes an unexpected gift. Greta tells the story of her life, bit by bit – of her childhood in East Prussia, her escape from the Russian soldiers during an icy winter, her longing for her missing father, and her success in Heidelberg’s black market. However, when Tom comes across a photo of a little girl with dark skin, Greta falls silent. For the first time, Tom begins to grapple more deeply with his mother’s past. Not just to finally understand her sadness – his own happiness depends on it, too.

For the first time, the story of the Brown Baby Plan and the fate of the children of German women and African-American GIs in the post-war period is being told.
A sensational debut novel – Susanne Abel’s style is highly emotional, smart and insightful in this multigenerational family novel.
SPIEGEL bestseller.