Last Gentleman in the Middle Distance is a literary historical novel with a timely edge.
The story introduces us to a young woman named Meta after World War I. Running away from her estranged family in rural Lower Saxony, she arrives with her friends into 1920s Berlin. By choice or fate, the politics of the day and the struggle for food and home absorbs each one. To duck out of rural turmoil, they must confront their upbringing and the urban scene of jazz, expressive art, and street fights. They don’t realize they are making decisions that affect their entire lives and are certainly ill-prepared for the looming Nazi takeover.
Meta tries to find a way to go to America, but her closest friend cannot risk fleeing. Author Verthein spent time on Northern Manhattan park benches interviewing elderly people who outlasted their Nazi attackers. The results of these interviews inspired the author to shape characters the charters in Last Gentleman in the Middle Distance. Meanwhile, busing across Afghanistan and Iran informed Verthein about the wonders of survival.
Counseling and teaching as an Adjunct Professor in Public Health and Social Work have been invaluable to her. Two Ragdale Foundation grants and Sarah Lawrence College encouraged her publications in St. Ann’s Review, Downtown Brooklyn, Absaloose, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Green Mountains Review, River Press Review, Gival Press and others. ◊