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Publisher's Summary

One of Audible's Best of 2021 

From the bestselling author of The Murmur of Bees comes a transportive novel of two families uprooted by war and united by the bonds of love and courage.

With war looming dangerously close, Ilse’s school days soon turn to lessons of survival. In the harshness of winter, her family must join the largest exodus in human history to survive. As battle lines are drawn and East Prussia’s borders vanish beneath them, they leave their farm and all they know behind for an uncertain future. 

But Ilse also has Janusz, her family’s young Polish laborer, by her side. As they flee from the Soviet army, his enchanting folktales keep her mind off the cold, the hunger, and the horrors unfolding around them. He tells her of a besieged kingdom in the Baltic Sea from which spill the amber tears of a heartbroken queen. 

Neither of them realizes his stories will prove crucial and prophetic. 

Not far away, trying and failing to flee from a vengeful army, Arno and his mother hide in the ruins of a Königsberg mansion, hoping that once the war ends they can reunite their dispersed family. But their stay in the walled city proves untenable when they find themselves dodging bombs and scavenging in the rubble. Soon they’ll become pawns caught between two powerful enemies, on a journey with an unknown destination.

Hope carries these children caught in the crosshairs of war on an extraordinary pilgrimage in which the gift of an amber teardrop is at once a valuable form of currency and a symbol of resilience, one that draws them together against insurmountable odds.

©2018 Sofía Segovia. Translation © 2021 by Simon Bruni. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Tears of Amber

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A remarkable book - compelling story

This book tells the story of WWII from a different perspective than many of us are used to - from the experiences of Prussian farmers and also a young Polish man conscripted to work on a German farm. It is not an easy book due to the horrors of war with losses and suffering in abundance.

Through all of that suffering there is still some joy. It is all beautifully written. It's hard to believe that this is only Sofia Segovia's second book. She is an amazing author who gives us connections to the characters she portrays. I felt for them at each turn of events. This is loosely based on real events which makes it even more compelling. I highly recommend this book, and the masterful narration.

11 people found this helpful

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Absolutely fantastic.

Easy to listen to, hard to hear. The beautiful imagery and intense story lines tell the story of the second world war from unique perspectives.

In my opinion, it was incredible.

I definitely recommend doing the audio version - it brings to life the characters, but also helps with the German/Polish/Russian phrases sprinkled in there.

9 people found this helpful

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Sofia Segovia is perfection!

I loooooved Murmur of Bees, but I love TEARS OF AMBER even more than I imagined I could or would. What a beautiful, powerful work that humanizes the brutality of WWII on two families who do all that they can to keep moving forward—no matter their tragic losses.

7 people found this helpful

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My new Author Obsession

After I read the Murmur of Bees, craved another historical fiction written in Segovia’s spiritually moving prose. There are similarities between the main characters and the villains like the “coyote” and the wolves, but fortunately Tears of Amber is not a bored copy of the author’s first success.

I encourage everyone who loves historical fiction to read this story. War destroys all in it’s path, no matter what side wins. The story of the WWII’s Eastern Front is not the one usually told. It will provoke sentiment for unconventional victims.

4 people found this helpful

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  • pb
  • 07-02-21

Magnificent Story

Better than "Murmur of Bees" though I'd recommend as well. Maybe one of our greatest living writers.

4 people found this helpful

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Different take on wwii!

This is the second time that the Segovia/Bruni pair give me chills! Beautiful story, characters, and amazingly written as well. Loved, loved listening to Will Damron.

4 people found this helpful

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Incredible!

As i listened to this amazing story, i was transported to each place! The manner in which it moved brought tears of sadness for the plight of so many. I highly recommend this book!

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Thought Provoking

Excellent writing. A book I will get in print.
Great book for a discussion group.

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Loved it

This story moved me so much that I lost a lot of sleep and finished the novel in one day. The horrors of war escapes no one -- it doesn't matter the side you are on. My perspective of WW2 had always been from the Jewish or American perspective. Now I am awakened to miseries the "losers."

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Beautifully written and VERY REAL WAR STORY

The writing itself is captivating and beautiful, but I kept waiting for some relief from the sadness and oppression that was happening to these people. It’s real! It’s war in all its horrendous colors! There never was relief. Raw pain!!!
So be prepared.
I also listened to this and got a bit confused as to who was who. There are a lot of characters. It skips around a lot and the names are foreign so I should have read it!
The narrator used the same voice for quite a few of the characters and that was confusing too.
If you’re up for an intense and hard hitting war story, then this is your book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christineb
  • 05-06-21

Stunning

This was an amazing novel Narrated beautifully Totally authentic and original The simplicity of childhood memories reminded me of the great classic by Pearl Buck The writing was superb Quite frankly it's worthy of 10 stars

5 people found this helpful

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  • Rooty tooty
  • 07-23-21

Extraordinary book

I wish every leader could read this in growing up so they comprehend that all actions have consequences but that also every human has a story to tell and the effects on ordinary mortals are extraordinary.
Amazing book that I will listen too time and time again.

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  • H R Macey
  • 04-14-22

Painful, beautiful & relevant for all time

We humans just can’t help ourselves, we make the same mistakes over & over. This book is a work of art.
God please help us all 🙏💙💛

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  • H A Reeve
  • 11-26-21

Absolutely breathtaking

I came here for my favourite narrator and I'm leaving with a new favourite author and male narrator.

Congratulations to the entire team on putting together such a special book. The performances were excellent, and the translation beautiful. The story is stunningly good, thoroughly researched and sensitively written. The author's note at the end elevated the story for me even more. I was gripped throughout, looking forward to the each chance to listen. I can't recommend it enough.

I had to go away and learn more about Prussia after finishing the book. I quickly realized what a limited view I had of the war, having learnt about WWII in a British classroom a good few years ago. Thank you, Sofia for the inspiration to research more. Thank you for telling the stories of Arno and Ilse.