Eddie Sabella is the city columnist at a New York tabloid, a thirty-seven-year-old hot shot who is a ferocious reporter and competitor and hard to beat on a story. And now he's stumbled upon the biggest story of his career: a statue that's been stolen. And it's not just any statue: it's one that seemingly wept real tears only the day before, an event that made headlines. Eddie's pursuit of the story behind the theft brings him into contact with a colorful cast of characters, including a respected restaurateur with a secret past who had donated the statue to the church, a cantankerous old priest with a taste for fine wine and expensive cigars, a stylishly dressed bookie who has the best table in the best restaurants in town, a legendary hitman who uses countless different methods to kill his prey, and an aging, still-volatile Mafia soldier who operates a funeral home but dreams of owning a tiki bar. And then there is Phyllis, a raven-haired beauty who was Eddie's first love and had disappeared without a trace fifteen years before. Phyllis makes a startling appearance as Eddie is dining at a popular restaurant, nailing him to his seat and disrupting his personal life while he hustles to solve the mystery of the stolen statue, a mystery with more twists and turns than he could ever have imagined.
The touching and nuanced portrait of the rise and fall of Nazi Germany through the eyes of a resourceful German boy.
Ludwig is an odd and introverted child, growing up in Hitler's Germany. While Ludwig's father, Wilhelm, is a senior Nazi and a true believer, Ludwig escapes the unfolding catastrophe by withdrawing into nature and books. Eventually, when the Allied bombing campaign intensifies, Ludwig is sent to a Hitler Youth camp, where his oddness makes him a target for bullying.
As the war turns against Germany, the Hitler Youth camp becomes ever more severe and militaristic, and the atmosphere spirals towards chaos. After the Nazis abandon the camp, Ludwig returns home, and his father is presumed dead. With Ludwig's mother descending into depression, the 11-year-old bears increasing responsibility for the survival of the family as starvation sets in under Russian occupation. Soon, it will be impossible to leave the Russian zone, so Ludwig decides that he must rally his despondent mother and lead her and his three younger siblings in an escape attempt to the west.
Based on a true story, The Willow Wren is a unique, touching exploration of extremism, resilience, and the triumph of the small.