Fascination With WW II History
Fuels Ellen Baker's Latest Novel

An exclusive Authorlink AUDIO interview with Ellen Baker, award-winning author
of I Gave My Heart to Know This, her second novel
September 2011 Authorlink Edition

I Gave My Heart to Know This by Ellen Baker
I Gave My Heart to Know This
(Random House
August 2011)


Ellen Baker, author of I Gave My Heart to Know This
Ellen Baker
Award-winning Author













Ellen Baker

Play Audio Interview

Award-winning Author Ellen Baker, who charmed readers with her debut novel Keeping the House four years ago, returns with I GAVE MY HEART TO KNOW THIS (Random House August 2011), a novel about the searing power of war, memory, friendship and family. In this AUDIO interview, Ellen talks to Authorlink about her fascination with history, and her personal publishing journey.

I GAVE MY HEART TO KNOW THIS takes place in both the past and contemporary times.

In January 1944, Grace Anderson, Lena Maki, and Lena’s mother, Violet, have joined the growing ranks of women working for the war effort. Though they find satisfaction in their jobs at a Wisconsin shipyard, it isn’t enough to distract them from the anxieties of wartime, or their fears for the men they love: Lena’s twin brother, Derrick, and Grace’s high school sweetheart, Alex. When shattering news arrives from the front, the lives of the three women are pitched into turmoil. As one is pushed to the brink of madness, the others are forced into choices they couldn’t have imagined—and their lives will never be the same. 

More than five decades later, Violet’s great-granddaughter, Julia, returns to the small farmhouse where Violet and Lena once lived. Listless from her own recent tragedy, Julia begins to uncover the dark secrets that shattered her family, eventually learning that redemption—and love—can be found in the most unexpected places. 

I GAVE MY HEART TO KNOW THIS is a riveting story of loyalties held and sacred bonds broken; crushing loss and enduring dreams; and what it takes—and what it means—to find the way home. 

ELLEN BAKER has worked as a costumed living history interpreter, a curator of a World War II museum, and as a bookseller and event coordinator at an independent bookstore. Her previous novel, Keeping the House, won the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction and was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s favorite books of the year.  She lives in Minnesota.

–Doris Booth