Elizabeth B. Splaine
Ursula Becker’s operatic star is on the rise in Nazi Berlin…until she discovers that she is one-quarter Jewish, a mischling of the second degree. Although Hitler is aware of her lineage, her popularity and exquisite voice protect her and her family from persecution. As Ursula’s violin-prodigy half-sister comes of age, she comes to the attention of the Führer, who welcomes the awestruck teenager into his elite, private circle. When William Patrick Hitler arrives in Germany and is offered employment by his doting Uncle Adolf, a chance encounter with Ursula leads to a romantic relationship that further shields the young diva from mistreatment. But for how long? Restrictions on Hitler’s perceived enemies tighten, and Ursula is ordered to sing at Hitler’s Berghof estate. There she throws down a gauntlet that unleashes the wrath of the vindictive megalomaniacal leader. Fearing for her life, Ursula and Willy decide to emigrate to England. But as the ship is about to sail, Ursula disappears. Desperately hoping that Ursula is still alive, Willy crosses the globe in an effort to find her, even as his obsessive uncle taunts him, relishing in the horror of the murderous cat-and-mouse game.
Impressive Indie Press Books of 2021 award from Independent Book Review
"Swan Song is a fascinating look into the world of German opera in the 1930's through the lens of a ‘mischling’-a half-Jewish opera singer - who undergoes a series of brutal experiences, including imprisonment in the ""country club"" of concentration camps-Terezin. Told with attention to historical fact and channeling actual personalities of the era, Swan Song should interest both music lovers and lovers of a fast-paced historical novel."
—Addie R. Appelbaum, St. Petersburg Opera Guild, Vice-President of Programming
— Name, Title
About the Author
Elizabeth B. Splaine is a retired opera singer who enjoys reading and writing WWII stories that focus on tenacity, hope and the indomitable human spirit. Prior to writing, Elizabeth earned an AB in Psychology from Duke University and an MHA from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She spent eleven years working in health care before switching careers to become a professional opera singer and voice teacher. When not writing, Elizabeth teaches classical voice in Rhode Island where she lives with her husband, sons, and dogs.
Learn more at elizabethsplaineauthor.com.