About the Book
In 1944 two young Dutch women, Julia and Suzanne, are deported to the German concentration camp for so-called privileged Jews at Theresienstadt. As an antidote to their appalling conditions, they begin to write a novel. At first, their novel is just an escape an imaginary world into which they can withdraw and find comfort but as their story unfolds, it becomes the way they communicate their feelings to each other and, ultimately, confront their own demons. They become convinced that the war will end when they finish their story, but it is the frenzied last year of the Final Solution.
As the darkness gathers around them, they find themselves in a race not just to finish the novel but to find a means of survival. The Paradise Ghetto is the story of two people whose lives are drawn together in unimaginable circumstances, and a reflection on the part that books play in our lives.
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About the Author
‘The Sunday Business Post’ has described Fergus O’Connell as having ‘more strings to his bow than a Stradivarius’.
His 2002 novel, ‘Call The Swallow’, was described by The Irish Times as ‘better than Schindler’s Ark’. The book was short listed for the 2002 Kerry Ingredients Irish Fiction Prize and nominated for the Hughes & Hughes / Sunday Independent Novel of the Year.
Fergus is also the author of fifteen business books. The first of these, ‘How to Run Successful Projects – the Silver Bullet’, has become both a bestseller and a classic and has been constantly in print for over twenty years. His book on common sense entitled ‘Simply Brilliant’ – also a bestseller and now in its fourth edition – was runner-up in the W H Smith Book Awards 2002. His books have been translated into nearly thirty languages.
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“‘You betrayed me,’ Birkita said again.
‘What could I do?’ Flavia appealed. ‘What would you have done in my place?’
‘We could both have been free,’ said Birkita.
Flavia finished and dropped the sponge back in the pink water. It wasn’t as bloody as the last time. As she stooped to pick up the bowl, Birkita said, ‘Flavia, in my cloak is a dagger. Get it and please cut my throat.’
Flavia looked at her in horror.
‘I can’t do that,’ she said.
‘Please – you must.’
‘Flavia – they’re going to put me in the arena. You’ve seen what happens.’
‘Birkita … I can’t. I … I love you.’
It was the most outrageous thing Birkita had ever heard. She thought to spit in Flavia’s face.
Instead she said, ‘If that’s true … If you have any feelings of love at all for me, you would do this. If you even cared for me the tiniest bit.’
‘Do you want me to die in the arena? For sport? Is that what you want?’
‘I can’t hurt you, Birkita.’