The ship was docking in an outer quay. Its metal body, to Christoph as immense and mysterious as a city built on water, seemed to threaten to break apart as it groaned and echoed with guttural booms and creaks in slowing, its incalculable weight working against itself. He could make out only dim shapes on the quayside through the thick maritime fog. He clutched his papers in his hand and could not begin to know what to expect. He was only thirty and had left everyone he loved behind in the Ruhr.
An American Decade. Prologue

An American Decade

After the death of his wife, Christoph leaves Germany in 1930 and eventually finds success as a singer on Broadway. As the decade unfolds he witnesses the rapid rise of American organisations sympathetic to Hitler. The ominous presence and popularity of these far right groups become a constant reminder of his inaction. As the human horrors of Nazism close in he is forced to act and sets sail across the Atlantic in search of a hidden piece of his history.

Evocative, heartfelt and beautifully written, An American Decade is a must-read novel for those who recognise the enduring impact of history and human frailties.
An expressive, fascinating, and convincing glimpse into 1930’s America just before the Second World War. As the Nazi regime takes hold, 30 year old widower Christoph leaves Germany for a new life as a singer on Broadway, however he has left behind ties that will bind him to the events that unfold. Richard Aronowitz has a family history that inspired him to write this novel, looking from the present into the past, the simplicity and sincerity of the writing sets the story, and a stark warning free. This is an intimate tale, we witness Christoph’s triumphs and heartbreak, a flawed man, yet he offers hope. Within Christoph’s tale links to the wider world are unchained, a Nazi group in America, bully and strut their way across the pages, letters arrive from Germany, full of fear and uncertainty. ‘An American Decade’ set on the brink of a horrifying history, rattling thoughts and feelings, is a compelling, striking read.
Liz Robinson@lovereading.co.uk
This is quite a journey and an insight into the political changes as well as the financial and social ones which took place in America during the 1930s. Told through a story of music and decadence, the stories of poverty and struggle seem all the more real, all the more raw. This is a side of war I’d not read of before – the rise of the Hitler sympathizers in the US, societies such as the Free Socity of Teutonia was set up to show Americans that Nazism was the way forward. This was just one of many – I had no idea these societies had existed and what they stood for and hoped tp achieve. Shocking to read about and realise just what a dangerous time this was. Christoph’s story was really interesting and really shone in contrast to the bleak political background. The musical interludes were loud and clear and swept me up in the music and the excitement of the time. I am a huge fan of jazz music and visited New York for a concert once – that feeling of awe and excitement came back to me so I could imagine how Christoph felt! There’s so much to enjoy and experience in this novel – the writing flows, there’s highs and lows, staccato moments and harmony but Christoph is the lonely note whose melodic cries can be heard throughout telling the story of a troubled time. Glittering
Susan@thebooktrail.com
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