of Leiden

A Novel by Robert Loewen

Start Reading Now

Subscribe below and start reading a preview of The Lioness of Leiden now.

About the Book

How do you fight the Nazis right under their noses? With cunning and courage.

When the Germans invade the Netherlands, Leiden University student Hetty’s boyfriend goes missing. But she has little time to grieve when she volunteers as a courier for the Dutch resistance, joined by her roommate, the beautiful Mimi, and seventeen-year-old Maria, the daughter of a slain resistance fighter. At great personal risk, the three women carry documents, secret messages, and cash to protect Jews, downed pilots, and others hiding from the Nazis.

During five years of war, Hetty is challenged by a gauntlet of spies and betrayal. She heroically fights back as she and her friends accept increasingly dangerous assignments. All the while, Hetty worries about her family. She tries to forbid her younger brother from volunteering for combat in the resistance and argues with her father about becoming too cozy with the Nazis.

As the Gestapo closes in, can Hetty and her family and friends make it through the war, free to live and love again?

Inspired by true events, Robert Loewen’s debut novel pays tribute to the heroism of his mother-in-law, who served as a courier in the Dutch Resistance during World War II.

Q&A with
Robert Loewen
Book Club

Available Everywhere Books Are Sold

April 4, 2023


About the Author

Robert Loewen was born in Bakersfield, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and raised his three children in Laguna Beach.

A 1970 graduate of Pomona College, Robert served two years in the United States Army, including a tour in Vietnam. His 1972 marriage linked him to Hetty Kraus, his mother-in-law, who told fascinating stories about her experiences in the Dutch resistance during World War II.

After a year serving as a law clerk to Justice Byron White at the United States Supreme Court, Robert returned to California in 1977, where he built a successful litigation practice at an international law firm. Known for his persuasive legal briefs, he has always been a natural storyteller who yearned to write fiction.

Now retired, Robert has published his debut novel, a fictional history of Hetty's life in the Dutch resistance.



StuNews Laguna Beach

April 2023


Between The Covers.

Episode April 26,2023



March 2023


Write and Review

March 31, 2023


Thoughts on This n' That

March 30, 2023


Life According to Jamie

March 23, 2023


Theresa's Books

March 19,2023


Radio Free California.

Episode 265


Fiction Writers Can Learn From Ode to Billie Joe

I was a teenager when the 1967 musical ballad Ode to Billie Joe swept across America. Recently, I heard the song on…

Who Was The Real Hetty?

People who have read The Lioness of Leiden ask about the inspiration for the main character, Hetty Kraus (1920-1994). Birth In A…

What Family Stories Would You Like To Write About?

Recently, I have attended book clubs to discuss my new novel, The Lioness of Leiden, which is based on stories told by…

Contact the Author

"*" indicates required fields