Historical fiction readers, are you ready to be one of the first to get an exclusive look at Martha Hall Kelly’s next novel? The Golden Doves tells the story of two women on the hunt for a war criminal. We Are Bookish has an exclusive reveal of the cover, but first, read our interview with the author.
Tell us about your book cover! What was the cover design process like for you?
I love every second of the book cover process and when my editor Kara Cesare sent the final Golden Doves cover to me, we wrote back and forth saying we had chills just looking at it. It’s a big story (I think of it as Thelma & Louise meets The Da Vinci Code) and the immensely talented art director, Elena Giavaldi, and designer, Laura Klynstra, captured it all so beautifully.
What inspired you to write The Golden Doves?
When I was researching Lilac Girls, a friend sent me a newspaper clipping about Nina Iwanska, one of the Polish women known as “the Rabbits” and the woman I based Kasia in Lilac Girls on. While visiting the U.S. she discovered that one of the Ravensbrück doctors who operated on her had been brought to this country to work on government projects. She was horrified to find he hadn’t been punished for his crimes but was living happily on a Texas army base. That led to me uncovering a whole world of hidden history about the thousands of Nazis who escaped execution after the war and the truly shocking way they escaped paying for their heinous crimes.
In three words, what can readers expect from The Golden Doves?
Suspense. Heartbreak. Inspiration.
Cover design is constantly changing and evolving. Is there a current trend in covers that you enjoy? What do you think is the secret to a good book cover?
I’m completely defenseless against a lovely book cover—I’m one of those people that will buy a book when they fall in love with the jacket. I bought Hamnet—my current obsession— for that very reason and I’m so glad I did.
I think the secret to a good cover is a designer that can capture the essence of the book in a fresh and unexpected way. So much harder than it may seem!
What books do you recommend we pick up while we wait for The Golden Doves to hit shelves in April 2023?
I’m reading a galley of Alka Joshi’s The Perfumist of Paris, due out next spring. It is so good I’m savoring every fragrant page. Joshi has this bewitching way of drawing you into her gorgeous stories.
I loved Jennifer Coburn’s beautifully researched Cradles of the Reich coming this fall—a fascinating look at Nazi Lebensborn homes.
Now, let’s get our first peek at The Golden Doves!
Here’s the official summary for The Golden Doves:
Two former female spies, bound together by their past, risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II—an extraordinary novel inspired by true events from the New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls.
American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue are thrilled to be working in the French resistance, stealing so many Nazi secrets that they become known as the Golden Doves, renowned across France and hunted by the Gestapo. Their courage will cost them everything. When they are finally arrested and taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, along with their loved ones, a reclusive Nazi doctor does unspeakable things to Josie’s mother, a celebrated Jewish singer who joined her daughter in Paris when the world seemed bright. And Arlette’s son is stolen from her, never to be seen again.
A decade later the Doves fall headlong into a dangerous dual mission: Josie is working for U.S. Army intelligence and accepts an assignment to hunt down the infamous doctor, while a mysterious man tells Arlette he may have found her son. The Golden Doves embark on a quest across Europe and ultimately to French Guiana, discovering a web of terrible secrets, and must put themselves in grave danger to finally secure justice and protect the ones they love.