What inspired Vandella: Resilience?

Before the publication of my first novel, Vandella In 2021, I shared a family history post that sparked my fascination with the topic of death and how it influenced my literary work and inspired the novel. If you are interested in reading how my grandfather visited the afterlife, read the post here.

Two years later I published my second novel, Vandella: Resilience in 2023, and the truth is that I also have a family story that triggered the main theme discussed in the novel, and I would like to share it with you.

 

Decades after my grandfather's death, when his children were older, and I, the youngest of the grandchildren, was already a teenager. My grandfather appeared to his second son in a dream and, as my uncle told it, the purpose of the visit was to announce that “he would come to take them.”

My grandfather provided my uncle with the list of the order in which each of them would die, but he did not give him a date.

When my uncle told this “dream” to his siblings (four brothers and a sister), they all took it lightly, even despite previous experience with my grandfather's unusual death (read the post I shared for context ).

But intrigued, his brothers dared to ask who would be the first to die. And my uncle responded that the first would be the youngest son (his sister, my mother, being the youngest). I remember my mother scoffed, claiming that “he was the one who had the least intention of dying,” considering that he was the healthiest of all.

However, they dared to ask again who would be next, to which my uncle replied that it would be the eldest of the sons.

We could argue that in some ways we all receive a death sentence from the day we are born, but my uncle must have sensed something in his brothers' reaction, because he refused to provide the rest of the list.

A few years later, the youngest of my uncles suffered an accident with a horse that caused his instant death, thus setting in motion the “collection” of souls announced by my grandfather. This was followed by the death of my eldest uncle due to a complication of diabetes, just as it was written.

My mother and her surviving siblings approached my uncle with the intention of knowing the rest of the list, but he refused to provide it to them without stating the reason.

In May 2022, my mother was hospitalized for a case of peritonitis resulting from diverticula. Despite being treated quickly, she suffered a serious case of sepsis, an infection that kept her in the hospital for weeks with a grim prognosis. Given his critical situation, my brother and I anticipated the worst.

As if by a miracle, the infection subsided and my mother survived. She was discharged and returned home accompanied by nurses to continue her recovery. During the following weeks his relatives were attentive to his condition, all except his brother who received the list.

My uncle finally called months later. I was sitting next to my mother and could hear my uncle's voice through the earpiece. After a brief greeting, my mother reproached my uncle for his lack of interest in her state of health, considering that “he was about to die,” and if it had happened, she would never have been able to talk to her sister again.

To which my uncle responded in a calm voice: “I knew you wouldn't die and that I could talk to you again.”

“How were you so sure?” My mother asked.

But my uncle remained silent, until my mother changed the topic of conversation.

A few months after that conversation, my uncle passed away. And in the midst of mourning her brother, my mother understood that my uncle was sure that she would survive her illness no matter how critical her situation was, simply because on the list it was written that he, and not she, was next in line. die.

And it is this story from my family about the omen of his death that encouraged me to explore the main theme of my second novel. To elucidate if with our actions we can really shape our destiny, or if it has already been decided.

Vandella: Resilience is set in Germany during World War II, one of the periods in humanity where death literally lurked around every corner. And the story centers on a girl who soon realizes that she received the “gift” or “curse” of being able to see Death doing his errands, which will make her question whether she dares to defy destiny.

Here I share the synopsis of the book:

 

If Death came to warn you of your imminent demise, would you dare to defy it?

The young Peach of the German Girls' League lives with her mother in the quiet German countryside, longing to return to Berlin once the war is over and realize her dream of achieving Olympic stardom as a hurdler for her country.

At her friend's wedding to an SS officer at Wewelsburg Castle, the heart and soul of the SS, she witnesses a seance in which a supernatural entity promises Nazi victory in exchange for seven children held prisoner. in the dungeon. Horrified, Peach rescues the children and takes them through war-torn Germany towards the Dutch border, with SS forces in pursuit.

On her dangerous journey, Peach suffers all the horrors of war: loss of innocence, loss of dignity, loss of her loved ones, all while stalked by the mysterious company of the Herald of Death.

 

If I managed to awaken your interest in history, Vandella: Resilience It is now available at all online book sellers. Get your copy!

Sincerely,

  1. Ch. Landa

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