Brisbane Book Launch – Herlinde Cayzer’s ‘sepia’

July 8, 2022

On a chilly Brisbane evening, members of the Brisbane writing , academic and arts community ventured out to support the launch of Herlinde Cayzer’s debut novel, sepia. We met in the lounge bar of the Newmarket Hotel to congratulate Herlinde and receive the first newly printed copies of this heartbreaking story. The striking cover design of the book is a sepia print based on a photograph of Herlinde’s own library. 

Herlinde Cayzer is a Brisbane writer with a PhD in German language and literature. Her articles have appeared in anthologies and online publications. She calls herself a snippeteer who blogs her musings, short stories and reviews on the arts at Herlinde has even written several reviews and travel stories which you can find right here on She Society. Her book, sepia, is her debut novel. 

It all began with a photograph… a what if? Herlinde saw a photo of a fourteen year old boy running towards the Allied forces in World War Two. He was pulled back by neighbours and friends. But what if he’d made it to them? What would have happened? Herlinde imagined the story. 

In sepia Herlinde tells the story of Sigrid, Werner and Heinz. Spanning continents and decades the fates of Sigrid, her brother Heinz and his friend, Werner are interwoven by one sepia photograph. Will the lifelong puzzle surrounding this image be revealed to Sigrid? – If only she had. 

In an era of historic turmoil Heinz’s worldly wise attitude contrasts with Werner’s compliance, which serves as a timeless account of being swept along with the current – If only he hadn’t.

In this poignant story the notion of overcoming past torments with an iconic ‘ fair-go’ attitude shows that with reflection and remorse, redemption may be possible. Set in war torn Germany and present day Australia, this story takes us full circle in the lives of these three engaging characters. The novel is a reminder of the power of human spirit to overcome and create a new more positive future, in spite of hardship. Herlinde Cayzer has told a story of heartache and pain with surprising humour and empathy. It asks the question : Can you achieve redemption when political extremist indoctrination leads to the death of your only friend? Debut novel, sepia, has launched and is out now online and in all good bookstores. You will need to have your tissues handy as you read this emotional story.

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