2 Green Hill Rd., Washington Depot, CT 06794. Phone: 860-868-0525.
Sigrid MacRae will discuss and sign copies of her new book A World Elsewhere at The Hickory Stick Bookshop on Sunday, October 19th at 2:00 pm. When Sigrid MacRae's mother cleaned out her house before relocating, she gave a beautiful, but locked, box to her youngest daughter, Sigrid. For years, the box sat – locked and unopened. When MacRea finally managed to open it, she found a stack of letters which revealed to her a father she never knew. Her mother had been pregnant with Sigrid when her father was killed in battle. From the letters, MacRae pieced together the story of her parents' union. While visiting Paris in 1927, her American mother, Aimée, a shy but rebellious Hartford, Connecticut heiress, took a friend's advice and met with her father, Heinrich, a graduate student at the Sorbonne who was a penniless baron of Baltic origins and an exile of the Russian revolution. He promised Aimée not only love and affection, but an alternative to the future that awaited in Hartford: one where she would end up with a husband in insurance and two children, two houses, two cars and burial in the family plot. They fell in love and married. But the harsh reality of post-World War I Germany was inescapable: a bleak economy and the rise of Hitler quash Heinrich's diplomatic ambitions, and their struggling family farm north of Berlin drained Aimée's modest fortune. In 1941, Heinrich volunteered for the Russian front and was killed by a sniper. Widowed and living in a country soon at war with her own, Aimée had to fend for herself.