Occasions of Sin by Elena Graf

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The author's writing is pinpoint sharp and adroit, even when discussing sensitive issues such as Margarethe's father taking his mother's best friend as a mistress on the side.
-BlueInk Review

Synopsis

For seven centuries, the German convent of Obberoth has been hiding the nuns' secrets—forbidden passions, scandalous manuscripts locked away, a ruined medical career, perhaps even a murder. In 1931, Margarethe von Stahle, an aristocratic physician, arrives at the convent to interview Sister Augustine, a candidate for head nurse. The nun’s past is shrouded in mystery. She abandoned a medical career, and her final vows were delayed for an unspeakable reason. Determined to lift the veil of secrecy, Margarethe finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery, a complicated romance, and a domestic drama that threatens her orderly life.
At once a mystery and a love story, Occasions of Sin is part of the Passing Rites series, which follows the aristocratic Stahle family through the 20th Century. This novel, set in the twilight years of the Weimar Republic, touches on issues the Nazis would later address in frightening ways—the role of women, homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, and the rights of the individual versus duty to the group. It also explores how religious institutions conspire to hide the truth.
 

About Elena Graf

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Elena Graf was inspired to write about this period by her father's war stories. She fell in love with the city of Berlin in 1980, when it was still a walled city, and she was working for a German publisher. She lives in Connecticut.
 
Published February 9, 2015 by Purple Hand Press. 336 pages
Genres: History, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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BlueInk Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Amy Edelman on May 22 2013

The author's writing is pinpoint sharp and adroit, even when discussing sensitive issues such as Margarethe's father taking his mother's best friend as a mistress on the side.

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