Poland, 1944: Armed men line the streets and herd us forward as they pull people from the crowd. My heart pounds as I hear a familiar cry. They have my best friend. I desperately push through to her, to save her. But we are too densely packed in. I can’t hold back my sobs as she disappears from sight. I am too late…
When war broke out, Julia’s father, a high-ranking Polish officer, took her from Warsaw to keep her safe. Now her father is missing in action, Julia hasreturned home to find him and fight for the resistance—but the city is more dangerous than she ever thought it could be.
When she is trapped in the ghetto, Nazis shoving people into the streets all around her, Julia can only watch in horror as her dearest friend is dragged away. It seems she is about to suffer the same awful fate, until her childhood sweetheart, Nikolaj, appears in enemy uniform and stops the guards with one word.
Surely the boy Julia remembers would never side with the Germans? In the safety of his private room, he explains he is a resistance spy within the ranks of Nazi officers. But the longer he keeps her in the barracks, surrounded by his soldiers, the more Julia grows uneasy about the man she once knew…
Half-Jewish and with her father a wanted man, how safe can she be behind enemy lines? And, not knowing who to trust, will she ever be able to reunite with her captured friend, and her beloved father—or will the war tear them apart forever?
About the author
Gold Medal winner in the 2022 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) for Europe-Best Regional Fiction.
Award winner in the Genre Short Story category in the 89th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.
Gosia’s debut novel, The Last Sketch, was named one of the best New Historical Fiction books by BookAuthority.
While Gosia Nealon is a proud New Yorker, she was born and raised in Poland. Her journey to the Big Apple revealed a wealth of cultural differences, but also the values that connect us all. Like the fierce desire to protect family, find love, and ultimately, discover who we are and why we’re here.
Gosia’s award-winning short stories have always delved into life’s biggest questions, but it was the drama, sacrifice, and tragedy of WWII that led her to pen her debut novel, “The Last Sketch.”
Growing up in Poland, Gosia heard many firsthand accounts of the war, told from a perspective rarely captured in mainstream literature. She was compelled to breathe life into Wanda and Finn, two young people falling in love in the midst of the most terrifying conflict of our time.
When Gosia isn’t tapping away at her laptop, she’s often walking the streets of New York. With her husband and two young sons in tow, they search for the most succulent pierogi, transporting them back to the cobbled streets of her childhood.