Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Review of a Genealogy Memoir: "The Secrets of the Notebook" by Eve Haas

Eve Haas has written a wonderful book that I believe many genealogists would enjoy. Titled The Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman's Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret , the description on Amazon starts with these words:

Eve Haas is the daughter of a German Jewish family that took refuge in London after Hitler came to power. Following a terrifying air raid in the blitz, her father revealed the family secret, that her great-great grandmother Emilie was married to a Prussian prince. He then showed her the treasured leather-bound notebook inscribed to Emilie by the prince. Her parents were reluctant to learn more, but later in life, when Eve was married and inherited the diary, she became obsessed with proving this birthright.


As an adult, Eve and her husband seek to unlock the mysteries of the notebook. All the experts tell Eve that no information has survived about her Prussian prince. However, if anything still does exist, it is behind the Iron Curtain - the same area from which both she and her husband fled many years before.

Eve and her husband, along with a grown son, do the unimaginable; they travel to East Germany from which, if they are arrested, no one will be able to help them. For some reason, the records are opened to them, and the Eve is excited by the discoveries. But, did the Communist Germans have an alternative reason for opening the files for Eve? And, will Eve be able to uncover the true story of her royal ancestor and his beloved Emilie?

Eve's story was fascinating as both a memoir and as a series of exciting genealogical discoveries. Throughout the book, Eve expresses her excitement and enthusiasm about documents she is allowed to view - documents which had been hidden for 150 years. Within these documents, the stories of "her" Prince and Emilie emerge.

In an earlier post, I reviewed four other books I think most genealogists would enjoy. Do you know of other, non-method books that genealogists would enjoy? I'd love to hear about them! Please leave a comment or email me at drleeds@sbcglobal.net.

6 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fascinating book. Thanks for recommending it!

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    1. It was fascinating. Let me know if you read it. I'd love to know how your thoughts!

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  2. Definitely my kind of book! After I finish a few others, this will be next in line. Thanks, Dana!

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    1. Joanne, it was a great book! I hope you enjoy it!

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  3. Sounds good - I'm putting it on my list. Thanks!

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