Halva, my sweet
Halva, meine SĂĽĂźe

ellen alpsten halva meine sueĂźe
August 2012 / 367pp
Children’s & Young Adults’

This book is outside of the five-year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest getting in touch with the relevant funding body for an informal conversation about the possibility of support. Please refer to to our  recommendations page for books that are currently covered by our funding guarantee.


Halva, my sweet is the story of a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. The young heroine, Halva, has had a liberal upbringing in Germany after her parents fled Iran during the Revolution. She falls in love with her brother’s friend, Kai Blessing. But the couple’s budding romance is thwarted at every turn by Halva’s parents, who have already promised their daughter in marriage to the son of the man who helped them to escape from Iran a decade earlier.

Halva and Kai meet in secret and communicate via messages hidden in the wrappings of the halva sweetmeats she prepares for her parents’ delicatessen. They plan to elope but a confrontation between their families leads to the arrest of Halva’s brother and the end of his promising legal career. With her parents’ dreams for their son in tatters, Halva feels obliged to save the family’s honour by marrying according to their wishes; but only if she can spend one night in the arms of the man she loves and knows she will never see again …

Author Ellen Alpsten lives in London, and this moving tale of star-crossed lovers attempting to bridge a cultural divide is sure to resonate with readers in English.

about the author

Ellen Alpsten was born in Kenya. After completing school in Germany, she studied law in Cologne and later studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. She worked in London as a producer for the financial news network Bloomberg TV before stepping in front of the camera as a live-market reporter for the German network N24. Since 2004 Ellen has contributed to a number of national publications. She lives with her husband and three sons in London.

Previous works include:
Weisse Schuld (2011); Die Loewin von Kilima (2010); Die Schwestern der roten Sonne (2009); Die Quellen der Sehnsucht (2008); Schattental (2005), Die Lilien von Frankreich (2004); Die Zarin (2002); for young adults: Rebella – Eine Liebe in Paris (2011)

rights information

Coppenrath Verlag GmbH & Co. KG
Hafenweg 30
48155 MĂĽnster, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 251 414 11 819
Email: davis@coppenrath.de
Contact: Rita Davis 

Coppenrath Verlag is an independently-owned publishing house founded in 1768. Coppenrath has since become a leading German publisher of children’s books and gift books for adults. Well-known characters include the wandering stuffed rabbit named Felix, a fairy named Princess Lillifee and a loyal little pirate named Capt’n Sharky.

translation assistance

Applications should be made to the Goethe-Institut.

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