Who is the real author of The Black Insignia? Is it H. R. Sanders, whose name is printed on the cover of every installment of the wildly successful young adult adventure series? Or is it Daniel Roche, the enigmatic world traveler who disappears for months at a time? When Daniel’s great-niece, Hélène, moves to Paris to study archeology, she does not expect to be searching for answers to these questions. As rumors circulate, however, that the twenty-fourth volume of The Black Insignia series will be the last, Hélène and her friend Guillaume, a devoted fan of her great-uncle’s books, set out to discover more about the man whose life eludes her. In so doing, she uncovers an explosive secret dating back to the darkest days of the Occupation.
In recounting the moment when one history began and another ended, The Travels of Daniel Ascher explores the true nature of fiction: is it a refuge, a lie, or a stand-in for mourning?
“Haunting…the narrative reads like a mash-up of Sarah’s Key and The Book Thief, and it adroitly straddles the line between adult and YA literature. A piercing meditation on memory and history.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Déborah] Lévy-Bertherat has written an engaging yet ultimately melancholy and moving novel about a search for meaning with its roots buried in WWII France. A slender story but a satisfying one.” —Booklist
“[Déborah] Lévy-Bertherat’s debut novel is a story about storytelling—both historical and personal…The best moments in Lévy-Bertherat’s short novel involve people falling into stories…The writing is lovely.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] tightly layered debut novel…With an emphasis on our simultaneous needs to disguise our suffering and tell our stories, Lévy-Bertherat highlights a most human conundrum in a mystery whose resolution will fill readers with sorrow and hope.” —Shelf Awareness