During the cold spring of 1942 in upstate New York, US government officials steal away German-born farmer Hans Müller in the middle of the night, leaving his wife and two sons alone and without explanation.
Does Hans’ odd obsession with his shortwave radio and foreign newspaper clippings mean that his quaint American life has been a lie? Or has the government made a horrible mistake that threatens to undo their family?
Lucy Müller is met with furtive glances and outright prejudice. Her sons are bullied at school and confused by their father’s absence. Hans tries to keep his head down and simply survive the camp’s fences, guards, and fellow prisoners, as his frustration mounts. The Müllers each endeavor to redefine themselves and their places in society, and while some family bonds strengthen and others wear thin, the question of Hans’ guilt or innocence looms over them all like a storm cloud..
The first book in an ongoing series, Fertile Ground is a haunting drama that straddles both historical and contemporary fiction genres. Splitting the perspective between Hans and his wife Lucy, it speaks to both the mystery and pain of World War II internment experiences and the struggles and internal growth of a family ostracized from their small town.