Duplicity's Daughter

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
396 Pages
Reviewed on 02/09/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Naomi Stephan was born in Bloomington, Indiana, where she grew up in a parsonage with her clergyman father and musician mother.

Holder of grants, scholarships, commissions and awards, Naomi earned a PhD in German and Music from Indiana University and a second BA in Voice as a Fulbright scholar in Berlin.

During her grant, Naomi traveled from West to East Berlin for concerts and cultural events, and to Leipzig and Dresden for research on her ancestors.

Naomi professed at Valparaiso University and UNCA, Ashville, where she focused on German literature and culture.

She co-founded Women in German (WIG), and is a member of the International Association of Women in Music and the American Society of Composers and Poets.

After academia, Naomi – with her partner, therapist Sue Carroll Moore – launched Life Mission Associates, a consulting firm dedicated to assist people in finding a purposeful life.

To that end, Naomi authored Finding Your Life Mission, Fulfill Your Soul’s Purpose, and co-authored a workbook of the same name with Sue.

As this her first novel, Duplicity’s Daughter expands Naomi’s literary and creative efforts by drawing on the German novella, lyrics, romantic poetry and Lieder, as well as her experiences in Cold War Berlin and lesbian liaisons.

Currently, she lives in a German village near the Polish border with her partner Julie and their two dogs Diesel and Brandy- Bandit. She continues to craft words and music.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite

A flight of self-discovery may have some turbulence. But Professor Renate Seiler has more than her share as she boards a plane for Germany in order to finish her dissertation. She has been awarded a German government academic grant to go back to the country where her life began. Naomi Stephan pens Duplicity's Daughter with a great love for romantic poetry, politics, music, and culture. Renate, or "Reni," says goodbye to her close friend Laura who also teaches at the Wisconsin university. But before she leaves, her mother dies of a heart attack.

As Reni sorts through dusty memories in her mother's attic, she finds some paperwork that hints that her father was a member of the evil Nazi regime. It is the Cold War, when World War Two and all its miseries have been replaced by the hopeful 1960s. After greeting her aunt in Germany, Reni finds her father's friend to investigate Nazi ties. There is some political intrigue when Reni makes some dangerous decisions. Along the way, Reni meets lesbian nightclub singer Christine and the two begin a passionate but confusing relationship. In the process of uncovering the full measure of her father's secret, she has awakened her sexual identity.

Naomi Stephan allows the reader into her life with many fascinating personal details in the book's preface. She is clearly passionate about the need for gay rights in all cultures around the globe. There are many quotes from German poets which give the book a lyrical depth. Duplicity's Daughter by Naomi Stephan is a richly textured story of personal history, identity, and family roots.