Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Peter Longley

The Cedars of Beckenham

Pages: 514 Ratings:
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The Mystery of an Antique German Doll reunites members of a family torn apart during The Third Reich of Nazi Germany.

This family saga, starting in the leafy suburb of Beckenham on the borders of Kent and London, begins in 1930 in the comfortable world of four British upper-middle class families blind to the impending changes that are about to threaten not only their world, but everyone else’s world, too.

A doll belonging to the Abuthnott family becomes the catalyst that brings about two sides of the Rubenstein family, who were able to escape from Germany in the late 1930s finding refuge in the United States of America and in the British Mandate of Palestine.

Along the way, the horrors of the Blitz and the British struggle for survival are enacted out against the parallel Germanic horror of holocaust separation. The survivors in the United States, Great Britain and Israel adapt to a new world as it unfolds through the second half of the 20th century, until by the chance sale of a German Biedermeier doll at Sotheby’s in New York, their separate paths are brought together in 2017.

The four Beckenham families adapt to their changing lifestyles witnessing a rich tapestry of 20th century history taking the reader all over the world with its beauty, passion and prejudices.

Peter Longley was brought up in Beckenham, Kent and educated at Tonbridge before reading theology at Cambridge. From 1967–1977, he was the estate manager of Tullamaine Castle in Ireland that was American owned and took him to Georgia, USA, where in 1978 he went to sea as a ship’s artist. Later, he became a cruise director with Royal Viking Line, and in 1989, joined Cunard as the cruise director of the Queen Elizabeth 2. Cruise ships took him all over the world in the 1980s and 1990s until he retired and became the horticultural interpreter of a large American Botanical Garden in Springfield, Missouri. He started writing books in 1978, and he returned to Beckenham and his roots in 2017.

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