Tour: Tapestry of My Mother’s Life

By Malve von Hassell

May 27 – 30

Audio – mixkit-classical-3-710


  • Purchase link:
  • Genre:  Biography
  • Print length: 267 pages
  • Age range: This is an adult book but suitable for mature teens age 16+
  • Trigger warnings: War; Nazi Germany
  • Formats available for the Tour: all standard electronic formats (sorry, no paperbacks)
  • Amazon Rating: 5 stars
  • Awards: 5-Star medal from the Historical Fiction Company and a Silver Medal for books in its category from 2021

If you would be interested in joining this tour as a reviewer, please contact us using the SIGN-UP FORM at the end of the page.


About Tapestry of My Mother’s Life

Tapestry Of My Mother’s Life is a biographical account of a woman coming of age in Germany during the 1930s. Malve von Hassell explores her mother’s life through the fragmented lens of transmitted memory, and its impact on the second generation.

Born at her grandfather’s house in Farther Pomerania, 1923, Christa von Hassell had to contend with the increasing and pervasive impact of the Nazi regime. As the child of a German army officer, she moved with her parents often. Through boarding school, university, marriage, the Second World War, life under Soviet occupation, and a new beginning in the West, eventually in America, the biography is an incredible, emotional journey of childhood, survival, and relationships.

The portrayal of Christa’s life also focuses on the role of memory: shaped, distorted, and realigned in the continual process of telling stories of the past in conjunction with silence about many aspects. Children of women who shared similar experiences and life trajectories struggled with the challenge of learning about their parents’ lives during extraordinary times, confounded by a wealth of stories on the one hand and a seemingly impenetrable veil of silence on the other.

Working through such memorabilia, as well as the tales of the past, can offer ways in which one can come to terms with the inherited detritus of thoughts and memories. As such, this account of the life of a unique and complex individual has also wider relevance in that it addresses age-old questions of the relationship between one generation and the next.

Praise for Tapestry of My Mother’s Life

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Tapestry Of My Mother’s Life: Stories, Fragments, And Silences, by Malve von Hassell, is a beautifully written account, not only of her mother’s life, but in fact, an incredible look behind the scenes of Hitler’s Nazi regime and the effects it, and World War II, had on the lives of the citizens. Amazon Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A tale of two worlds entwined by destiny. This is a wonderful read, written with deep love for an inimitable mother and a brilliant tableau of the post war era… Amazon Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Von Hassell successfully depicts in which ways joy and suffering are relative, highly subjective, always individual. They are questions of individual personality structures and socializations, which von Hassell answers so virtuously and poetically. Some questions remain unanswered – for the reader to dwell on and search for answers in his or her own family history. I highly recommend this book. Amazon Review

About the Author

Malve von Hassell was born in Italy and spent part of her childhood in Belgium and Germany before moving to the United States. She is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research and has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College.

Working as an independent scholar, she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996).

She has edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell’s memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich – Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994).

She published two children’s picture books, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (Amazon KDP 2012/2020), and Turtle Crossing (Amazon KDP 2021), and her translation and annotation of a German children’s classic by Tamara Ramsay, Rennefarre: Dott’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012).

The Falconer’s Apprentice (namelos, 2015) was her first historical fiction novel for young adults. She also published Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020), set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades, and The Amber Crane (Odyssey Books, 2021), set in Germany in 1645 and 1945.

She is working on a historical fiction trilogy featuring Adela of Normandy.


Reviewers – please complete the form below if you would like to take part in this Tour, May 27 – 30

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