Belinda Castles is the author of Falling Woman and The River Baptists (for which she won the 2006 Australian/Vogel Award). Her latest novel is Hannah and Emil, which traces two characters across Europe, the UK and Australia and charts their complex struggles, and the love that pulls them through. Emil fights for Germany in WWI but is forced from his home with the rise of Nazism in the 1930s. Hannah is independent, talented and resourceful. As a child she longs to be an adult, and as an adult she bravely faces the challenges thrown at her. Hannah and Emil’s childhoods make up the early chapters, they are completely vivid and absorbing and help us, as readers, to understand their decisions later on.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet Belinda a few times as we are/were both members of the Writing and Society Research Centre at the…

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