The Secrets of the Notebook by Eve Haas – Bee Readin'

The Secrets of the Notebook by Eve Haas

If you are naturally curious, are an avid genealogist or simply love historical non-fiction, this book is for you.

Eve escapes to London from Germany with her parents and her brother. Hitler is in power and the family is Jewish. One morning, over breakfast, Eve, her father and mother are sitting around the table, their nerves rattled from a night of air raids. Eve’s father pulls a metal clasped journal from a tattered envelope. He explains to her that she must treasure the journal and keep it safe. The writings within its pages prove their lineage back to a Prussian prince. But he also warns her not to research the family, just let it lie quiet, she wonders why?

Eve remembers the journal, it is never far from her mind, but her parents have tucked it away for safe keeping and life marches on. Eve’s Uncle and his family have escaped from Czechoslovakia and Hitler’s regime settling in London. Sadly, Eve’s grandmother Anna refused to leave and settle in London with her family. Leaving her behind, Eve thinks of her daily, misses her terribly and looks forward to the letters that sporadically are sent. Without warning, the letters stop coming and the family is tortured as to what has happened to her, but there is nothing they can do to find her.

As the years pass by, Eve marries, raises three boys, but her grandmother is never far from her daily thoughts. Both of her parents are gone and the journal is in Eve’s possession. Once her boys are grown and out of the house, her husband retires, and she looks for something to fill her days. She pulls the journal from the envelope and quickly becomes so entranced with what she reads, she is determined to ignore her father’s warnings but instead, discover her father’s lineage.

The journal leads Eve and her husband on an unforgettable journey. They travel to to West Germany, cross through Checkpoint Charlie and behind the wall of communist East Germany in search of her families documents. What Eve learns answers questions, but raises many more. Her obsession and curiosity along with her strong determination and bravery will give her the pieces she needs to put the puzzle back together. Along the way her husband is blackmailed, their hotel room bugged and roadblocks set them back. But she isn’t deterred and with full force she continues on her search.

What she finds will answer her questions, re-define her family through a cover-up that leads to an unnecessary tragic end to her grandmother’s life.

I couldn’t put the book down. Being one of those curious genealogists I understood Eve’s determination and her refusal to take no for an answer. The Secrets of the Notebook is a beautifully written real life story that I believe you will love. I recently discovered the book is being made into a movie slated for release in 2022 and am thrilled.

Until next time
Bee Readin’

16 thoughts on “The Secrets of the Notebook by Eve Haas”

  1. Sounds good, Terri. I’ve recently joined a book club and we’re always looking for good books to read. I’ll suggest it. I just finished reading Snow Falling on Cedars. Have you read it? It’s been made into a movie. I always enjoy watching the movie after reading the book. Hopefully we’ll do that this weekend.

    1. Janet,
      I love that you are in a book club, I miss mine so much! I haven’t blogged in such a long time. I have read plenty of books, but this one I loved and wanted to share. I haven’t read Snow Falling on Cedars. Saw the movie a long time ago and like you I would rather read the book first then see the movie, but we saw the movie first and I always seem to compare the movie to the book. Let me know what you think of how the movie compares to the book. Hope you are well. Terri

  2. Oh my goodness, Terri. This is exactly the kind of book I love. Not that I’m interested in my own family history, as sadly, I suspect it will be a tad boring. 😉 Actually, I quickly bought the Kindle version before even writing this. So thank you for this recommendation.

    I wonder if you’ve ever read “The Hare with Amber Eyes” by Edmund de Waal? If not, I am a hundred percent convinced that you would love it.

    1. Jolandi,
      Hi! I am so glad to hear you got the book, you have to let me know what you think after you have read it. We are so alike in the types of books we like and I think you will love it. I haven’t read the book by Edmund de Waal, am going to look at it today. Thank you so much for the recommendation. You might be surprised in your family history. Through Covid I have been working on my genealogy and am still writing the book for Tony’s. I thought the same thing, I am not going to find much. I have been very surprised, saddened by some and realized there are some nuts on the tree and other branches I would like to completely prune off the tree. But this book by Eve Haas, pulled me in and I absolutely loved it. Enjoy! Hope you are doing well.

    1. Haha Bob, it has been so long and I finished the book and it was something special that I loved and felt the need to share. So I am back at it again. If you read it you have to let me know what you think. Take care and we will chat soon.

  3. I will make sure to tell you what I think once I’ve read it, Terri. It is always lovely to discover good books through someone who has the same reading taste. It makes it so much easier to choose from the staggering amount of books out there. I’m glad you’ve found some interesting things in your genealogy, even though some are perhaps not pleasant finds. I can just imagine what an immense task it must be to do all this research.

    1. Please let me know. I agree, I always prefer book recommendations from friends with whom we share the same taste. Although, I have found some random books that I thoroughly enjoyed too. The genealogy is so much work. I won’t add anyone to my tree until I can prove they belong there. So it is pretty tedious. But I love research and the history I am learning along the way. Finding details about their lives and what they encountered makes me appreciate them so much. I am still working on the book on my husbands family and it is coming along well. I enjoy it so much and it certainly gave me something to keep me busy during our lockdown. Hope the garden is looking amazing and you are doing well. I love following you and Michael’s journey.

  4. I’m about a third through the book, Terri, and absolutely loving it. What a fascinating story to discover about one’s family.
    I really admire the amount of research you are doing on both your own family tree and that of your husband, Terri. I think I would much rather spend time in the garden, and I am rather happy with how it is coming along. 😉 I love this new phase in my life.

    1. I am thrilled you are loving the book. It truly was fascinating. The research is fun, but at times so frustrating too. It was the perfect Covid activity. Like you I would love time in the garden. City life doesn’t always allow for that space. I loved the blog post and the pictures of the garden. It looks amazing. Enjoy your harvests.

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for letting me know. I always hesitate in seeing a movie after I read a book, because I am usually disappointed. It certainly happened again with the new mini series on Hulu “Nine Perfect Strangers.” I enjoyed the book and started the mini series and was so disappointed I didn’t finish the show.

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