A Sea Change

By Michael Arditti

Format: Paperback

Based on actual events, this novel tells the story of Karl, a fifteen-year-old passenger on the SS St Louis, which left Hamburg in 1939 carrying refugees from Hitler. Karl recounts the horror and excitement, his personal voyage of discovery, his battles with the Nazi crew and his first love affair.

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Arcadia Books

Arcadia Books deal in the best of world literature, today. Publishing translated fiction, literary fiction and crime.

Product Description


'This is the story of how I became a man ...' In May 1939, the SS St. Louis left Hamburg for Havana, carrying almost a thousand refugees from Hitler's Germany. Over the following weeks, the ship criss-crossed the ocean, buffeted alternately by hope and disappointment, as it sought asylum in a friendly port and war drew inexorably closer. Based on actual events, Michael Arditti's enthralling new novel is the memoir of one of the passengers, fifteen-year-old Karl, heir to a department store fortune. He recounts both the horror and excitement of the trip, along with his personal voyage of discovery, as he learns the truth about his family, battles Nazi crew members and plans mutiny. Most momentously, he describes his first, passionate love affair with the beautiful young Johanna. "A Sea Change" is a mesmerising journey through history. A tale of dreams and betrayal, of courage and resilience, of romance and reconciliation, it unforgettably evokes an extraordinary summer in which a boy crosses the threshold from youth to maturity.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Maia Press Limited
Publication Date 1 Sep 2006
ISBN 9781904559214
Number of Pages 304

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Press Reviews

'Brilliant use of a momentous journey to tell the story of a Jewish boy's rite of passage into adulthood. A gripping and adroit fusion of history with personal drama' Rose Tremain 'A moving and heartening story in which spirit triumphs over political barbarity' Edna O'Brien

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