marie lamballe

Café Engel - A New Era (Vol.1)

Drawing on colorful characters and loving details to throw its setting into sharp relief, Café Engel - A New Era tells the thrilling history of a coffeehouse dynasty amidst the changes of the 20th century.   

Wiesbaden, 1945. The Second World War has come to an end, and Café Engel - once a gathering place for sparkling personalities - has miraculously been spared. Else Koch and her daughter, Hilde, must rely on themselves during these troubled times because Heinz, Hilde‘s father, has been reported as missing following his deployment to the French front. Overcoming all resistance, Hilde is able to convince her mother to reopen the Café. By dealing on the thriving black market, they manage to reopen the coffeehouse with modest offerings. But soon the first conflicts cast a shadow over the newly won peace. When Heinz is released as a French prisoner of war and returns home, Hilde‘s joy quickly mixes with annoyance because he excludes the women from all business matters. During the war, Hilde and her mother reached all important decisions together. As a result, it is difficult for Hilde to accept suddenly being demoted to a waitress. On top of that, amidst the flood of refugees from East Prussia a young woman arrives at the café and introduces herself as Hilda’s cousin Luisa. Her pleasant, unassuming ways take every heart by storm.

Before long, the café becomes a lively meeting place where occupying American soldiers meet German Fräuleins, and affluent ladies who managed to keep their possessions during the war encounter those who lost everything. Yet behind the placid façade, a storm is brewing. When Fritz Bogner, a young violinist Hilde fancied even in her youth, returns from internment as a prisoner of war, he falls in love with - of all people - Luisa.


English synopsis and sample translation available

Rights sold to: Czech Republic, France, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain


Sample Translation