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My Own Dear Brother by Holly Muller

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My Own Dear Brother is a remarkable coming-of-age story and an unflinching study of both cruelty and courage. Rich in folklore, it introduces a daring young heroine and a powerful new literary voice.


My Own Dear Brother by Holly Muller

It is 1944, and war has taken the men in Nazi-controlled Austria to the front line. For thirteen-year-old Ursula Hildesheim life in the village of Felddorf remains almost as it was: bullied by her schoolmates, idly thieving from the village shop, enlisted in endless chores by her mama and sister and running wild with her adored older brother Anton. But when Russian prisoners escape from the local concentration camp, her mama starts an affair with a married man, her friend goes missing and her brother's allegiance to the Hitler Youth emerges in shocking ways, Ursula finds herself alone, disturbed by dark memories, and surrounded by threat. In this new world of conflict, Ursula discovers a bravery she has never known before and is forced to recognise that danger comes not only from the enemy at the door but from the enemy within.


'One of the most emotive accounts of life in Nazi Austria that I've ever read ... On the surface, the novel is simply about the war but if you look a little deeper, it's about love and loss in a society where people have been numbed to pain and sorrow ... Captivating and haunting from the first page ... I haven't been able to put it down' Guardian

'A powerful and absorbing novel that pulls you deep into the troubled war years of its young heroine. Love and loyalty are the book's real themes, and the manipulation of the innocent. Brilliantly done' Esther Freud, author of Mr Mac and Me

'A moving portrait of a girl forced to come of age in a world at war' Sunday Times

'Intensely imagined' Independent

'a touching chronicle of some of the lesser-known casualties of war and of the resilience of human spirit despite those difficulties' Washington Independent Review of Books

'Vividly depicted and shrewdly observed ... The world evoked here strikes me as fundamentally true' Sydney Morning Herald

'Muller creates a flawed and vulnerable young heroine we believe in' The Australian

About the Author

Holly Muller is a writer and musician. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of South Wales and sings in the band Hail! The Planes. My Own Dear Brother is her first novel. Holly Muller lives in Cardiff. hollymuller.com @mullerism

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Book Info

Publication date

12th January 2017


Holly Muller

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


464 pages


Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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