The Mixed Relations Trilogy

By Gertrude Mueller von Deham
Edited by Jen Cowie
Contributions by Cynthia Schubert


Mixed Relations is the first book of a trilogy which begins in the late 19th century. A 15-year-old girl rebels against her Victorian parents and elopes with her new lover. When the marriage fails, the girl is shunned by her family. Desperately poor and hungry, she joins a traveling troupe. Within weeks she is the only remaining performer and travels with her very wealthy royal lover posing as his wife. A year later, she gives birth to an unwanted child named Evelyn. Throughout her childhood, Evelyn knew her late father was a member of the British nobility who had left her an inheritance but knew very little about him or even the fact that she was illegitimate.
Having been conditioned by her very young, resentful mother that she was unworthy of any love or kindness, Evelyn was determined to gain an education and escape from her ever-increasingly volatile mother. Living in London as Evelyn is nearing her 25th birthday, the year she will inherit her wealth, Evelyn looks forward to a future away from her mother's control but will she escape or is she too conditioned in her role as her mother’s protector?
This tale of courage, tenacity, compassion and often lack thereof, is the true story of Gertrude Müeller von Deham. Written in her own hand, the text reads as authentic and heartfelt; brimming over with the colourful imagination and uncertainties of childhood. Her humility and pride shine in equal measure with self-doubt and a crowning sense of accomplishment when things come right.

Editorial Reviews

Author Gertrude Mueller von Deham tells a touching story, one which is beautifully chronicled and delivers everything you could want from an emotional and inspirational autobiography right out of the pages of history. The stories are beautifully presented and own a smooth and enjoyable narrative style. Reading first-hand the experiences of a young woman who feels constrained by her gender and wants to break free of its shackles is a true inspiration and empowerment for us all. I would highly recommend Mixed Relations: An Unusual Childhood for any reader seeking a vibrant and realistic autobiography that sheds light on a very special time, and a very special person indeed.
- K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

Mixed Relations by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is such a compelling read. Throughout the entire story, I was reminded of how difficult it was for females to gain an education in that era. Evelyn fought hard and her determination to succeed was inspiring. There were some amazing characters throughout the novel. The relationship between Evelyn and her mother was extremely toxic and unhealthy and I admired Evelyn's loyalty to her mother but found it desperately sad too. I really didn't want the story to end and I am intrigued about what is going to happen to Evelyn as she enters the next phase of her life.
- Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

For someone who grows up in a painful and traumatizing environment, Evelyn's positive attitude is inspiring. I found the storytelling to be authentic and engaging. It captures the characters' perspectives and emotions. Historical detail also adds depth to the novel. Mixed Relations is a powerful historical autobiography about one woman's endurance and fortitude which is evident from her ability to overcome her limiting, isolating childhood.
- Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

One of the fascinating aspects of Mixed Relations is the detailed narrative of Gertrude Müller von Deham's relationship with her mother and in the way she was brought up. The emotional content can move you to tears. The volatile nature of the girl who had taken so much oppression at her tender age gave her no glimpse at what the future would provide for her. In reading this stunning account of her upbringing, you can look forward to reading her subsequent life adventures, as this is only the first in the trilogy of a life that is well-told.
- Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars


This second book in the Mixed Relations trilogy is the account of Gertrude Müller’s journey into married life with a difficult, objectionable husband. Having been raised by a cruel, demanding mother she finds herself oddly well prepared to navigate these stormy waters. Finally able to really live her life instead of watching others from the shadows, she thrives on her love of the excitement of financial journalism and the associated intrigue; journeying across Europe as her husband's messenger and feeling truly an essential part of a greater world than she ever dared imagine. Raising 3 children through the first world war in starving Vienna, she proves herself resourceful and brave in her exploits as a more than competent partner to her husband as well as a fiercely devoted mother. Her courage, quick thinking and tenacity are tested repeatedly as she skillfully learns to stretch the truth in order to cross borders, put food on a wartime table and help her family and friends during uncertain times. As her husband gets closer to the position he desires at the newspaper, she finds that he is willing to make some sacrifices to get there that just won’t do.

This is a book you can get lost in and in the best kind of way. The author writes beautifully with meticulous details from the past, making it all come alive. The characters are so well-described that you feel like you're in the same space as them. I really like Evelyn's fortitude, her strength of character, how she turns negatives into positives, and the way she does what she has to for herself and those she loves. She has a personal code that she lives by, even if others don't know what it is or care to understand it. The author has created irresistible dialogue, and an interesting atmosphere of time, place, and people. It's easy to consume this book in one sitting, and it goes by too quickly. Fans of Phantom Thread and other historical dramas will love Mixed Relations 2: Navigating the Stormy Waters of Married Life by Gertrude Mueller von Deham.
Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

Mixed Relations 2 by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is another superb installment of her life. Evelyn is such a beautiful soul. As a reader, you recognize her amazing strength and abilities and hope she will finally put her own well-being first. I loved seeing her character develop as she faced some pretty dangerous situations on her travels across Europe. I also loved the references to historical people and events of that era. The depiction of living through a war, rationing, and the Russian Revolution was so interesting and brought such realism to the story. I cannot wait to see what Evelyn does next.
Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

Author Gertrude Mueller von Deham's life story is a really amazing account of a modern woman before her time, having it all and getting the most out of life despite its many hardships. Once again, I found myself delving deep into this immersive world from her first-hand account, and the relationships were so poignantly and intelligently penned that I felt like I genuinely knew the people I was reading about. Fitting somewhere between non-fiction and narrative, the autobiographical storytelling style is still deeply immersive and emotive, perhaps most especially during wartime. Her commitment to her children, but also striking the balance between making an impact in the wider world, was highly motivational to read about. Overall, I would certainly recommend Mixed Relations 2 to fans following the series, and the series in general for anyone with an interest in a deeply engaging personal history.
K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

Mixed Relations 2: Navigating the Stormy Waters of Married Life by Gertrude Mueller von Deham provides detailed, engaging descriptions of the main characters which made me feel as if I was living alongside them. The memoir also offers a close look into what life was like for European countries, especially Austria and England, before, during, and after WWI. It also explores issues affecting women and their place in society during the early part of the twentieth century and helps one appreciate their resilience. Mixed Relations 2 inspires courage and sagacity in the face of change and tragedy.
Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

This is one of those stories that make you lose yourself in the pages and never want to come back to the real world. Author Gertrude Mueller von Deham writes a tremendous tale of courage,faith, and strength that is bound to make you love Evelyn with all your heart. Evelyn is the kind of character that we all can relate to. You can see glimpses of your mother, grandmother, and even yourself in her. She belongs to those one-in-a-million characters that are universal yet so unique. The author has a natural way with words, she keeps the balance between action and drama, and allows her characters to thrive. She brings emotions to the table, keeps them alive (especially in the chapters that detail wartime for the family), and allows the reader to feel each word in their heart. From start to finish, this is a brilliant and heartfelt story that will keep you hooked.
Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars


This third book in the Mixed Relations trilogy is the story of Gertrude Müller von Deham’s rise to become the ‘Soul of Moloch’ and one of Vienna’s most celebrated socialites. Her natural curiosity and wry humour made her a favorite amongst her set.While trying to keep her errant husband in line, she simultaneously struggles to keep her impetuous children steady on their life paths as they also experience the intense vagaries of love and married life.When the horrors of WWII begin, she uses her extensive network and a hearty dose of truth stretching to try to secure safe passage out of Austria for Jewish friends and loved ones and as many of their belongings as possible.This story is an inspiration that speaks to living life with a positive attitude regardless of your circumstances as well as the karmic reality of kindness, compassion and loyalty.It is also a very disturbing reminder of the ugliness and cruelty of misguided power and the horrors of racism.

This third book of a nonfiction trilogy tells the story of an Englishwoman and her husband living in Vienna as WWII approaches. How the main character managed to secure the escape of Jewish friends and relatives was truly remarkable. The horrific Nazi tragedy that ended the lives of many Jewish people, and forever changed the lives of survivors is described in heartrending ways. The memoirs of Gertrude Mueller von Deham have been brought to life in this book. It is a beautiful reminder of the courage, strength, and love of those who overcame one of the darkest times in human history.
- Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

Mixed Relations 3: An Unexpected Ending by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is the conclusion to a fascinating memoir about the life of the author. This third installment ties her life together with an exquisite bow that is sometimes heartrending, sometimes joyful. It's the character of Evelyn herself that will keep you clinging to each page to find out what happens next in this amazing woman's life. Sometimes you read a book or watch a film where the personality of the main character defines it, and this is one of those books. She doesn't just survive. She transcends. I would love to hear one day that this award-worthy trilogy is being developed into a film because it would easily translate into one. This book is a feather in the cap of a beautiful series.
- Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

When WWII begins, the main character, Evelyn, uses her contacts and intelligence to devise an escape attempt from the Gestapo for herself and many others from the Jewish community. I stand in admiration of the courage, selflessness, and kindness of her. The dialogue was faultless and really authentic and highlighted the views and personality of each main character perfectly. As with the two previous novels in this series, the historical references added a great deal of realism to the story. Although Mixed Relations 3 by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is a stand-alone read, I would certainly recommend you read the first two books to give you a better understanding of Evelyn's background.
- Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

Author Gertrude Mueller von Deham's incredible life story is one for the ages and, penned in her own hand, it delivers so many important life lessons from the past that we can take into the future with us. Having followed this trilogy avidly, it was wonderful to find myself still surprised and amazed by the difficulties which Gertrude balanced so beautifully. The wartime elements were, once again, devastatingly beautiful in the bittersweet recollections of the raw prose, making me feel as though I was there, living under such an oppressive and unfair regime. Overall, I would highly recommend Mixed Relations 3 to those who have been following the series thus far, and the complete trilogy as a highly accomplished work of historical importance and empowerment for women.
- K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

Mixed Relations 3 by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is a reflection on World War II and the consequences of racism and political violence. Her character continues to shine even in this last part of her life. When faced with marital struggles, she remains at her husband's side and is committed to him even during the war when being married to a Jew could cost her life. Mixed Relations 3 is a powerful ending to the life of a forgiving, brave, and intelligent woman who defies the obstacles she faces in her era to establish a better life for her family and friends. During chaos and loss, Deham's courage and quick wit save not only herself but also others trapped in the brutality of the war. - Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite - Rating 5 Stars

From the Editor

Upon reading the diaries of her grandmother, my mother, Cynthia, was fascinated by the life that she had led, her adventures and misadventures, her indomitable spirit and courage and decided that she would make writing her grandmother's story her retirement project.

On a visit to my father several years ago, I decided to make myself useful and clean out the closet in his guest room. As I dug through old boxes making piles of things to toss or donate, I found one box full of writing. Small boxes and envelopes full of loose leaf scrawlings and type-written pages sat atop 2 case bound books which hadn't been opened for over 40 years. Upon reading the books, I realized that my great-grandmother, Gertrude Müeller von Deham, had written her own life story...so much for Mom's retirement project.

It was confusing at first, as Gertrude had changed all the names in the book. My great-grandfather's name was Stephan, not Eric and the surname was Müeller not Műhlfeld. Her name was Gertrude, not Evelyn. Her children's names were also different. When we decided to publish this book, not knowing why she made the changes, we decided to keep it as she wrote it.

Over the course of several years, Cynthia and I transcribed the books and edited and re-edited. This story that began in 1877 and ends in 1938 is an authentic tale of an unusually resilient woman who lived and raised a family through 2 world wars and fought like a dervish for herself and those she loved.

It is an extreme privilege for me to be able to read about what kind of child, wife and mother my great-grandmother was, what my grandmother was like as a child and very satisfying, though at times a little disconcerting, to see some of the qualities passed along our matrilineal line.

I am so grateful that her hard work finally goes to press so that her story can at last be told.

~ Jen Cowie

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