In war-torn Poland of 1939, all teenage Countess Anna Vladisciuszkowanted was to lead an ordinary life but the world wouldn’t let her. Nazis hated her grandmother’s Jewish ancestry while after the war; communists hated the old aristocracy of pre-war Poland. Only the British where she became a refugee are prepared to help. She is placed in an orphanage under an assumed name but the conditions were hard and under the rule of a sadistic matron.
Later, friends Johnny, Sally, Janice and herself are evacuated onto a ship bound for Canada but it is torpedoed and the four find themselves alone one a life raft. Three of them are eventually rescued and taken to Gibraltar where a British officer knows of Anna’s ancestry. The three are given new identities as the Baker family and sent to New Zealand on a troop ship.
When the war is over, Anna cannot return home as the communists now control Poland and even in distant New Zealand she is in danger from communists trying to eliminate former Polish aristocrats.
Countess in Exile is a thriller, a love story and the story of human endurance.These are wrapped in a journey that reaches across the world from war torn Europe to New Zealand through the second half of the twentieth century and into the new millennium.
Your emotions will be stretched to their very limits and you will feel as if you are a part of Anna as the young girl, the woman and later the elderly lady who never forgets her aristocratic home in an Old World that will never be the same again.
When the remote settlement of East Ridge in the South Island of New Zealand is isolated during a snowstorm, Renee and Tyler take in three stranded travellers Aza , Sofia and Ian. Without electricity or mobile phone contact and with all the roads around closed, the five are completely cut off from the world. There, they begin to bond and help one another with problems in their lives.
Ian is a lawyer who tells Renee that her ex-husband is being investigated for murder of his child and attempted murder of a partner after a car crash. Circumstantial evidence is needed to show Larry Brooks violent past. Ian came down to the South Island to try to persuade Renee to be a witness at a trial that may eventuate.
Aza is a lecturer at Auckland University who has had her work on genetic profiling, plagiarised from her PhD thesis by Professor Joseph Hardy.
During their isolation at East Ridge, the five find they are being stalked and later attacked by an armed criminal. But who is being targeted? Is it Aza who is a threat to the professor at the university, Renee by the violent Brooks or Ian?
However, Sofia is shot and wounded. Was she the target of the mysterious assassin or was it a mistaken identity with Renee or Aza being the intended target?