Parallel Journeys takes place during World War Two. It is about the lives of Helen Waterford and Alfons Heck. The book tells both of their stories.
Helen Waterford was a Jewish girl from Germany. She lived in Frankfurt with her mother and father. Her mother wanted Waterford to marry a wealthy man early, and become a housewife. Waterford had other plans, she went on to study at a university. After the war began Waterford could not continue her studies.
Alfons Heck was a boy living in Germany. He lived on a farm with his grandmother. He had a brother who lived with his parents in another part of Germany. Heck's life was church, school, and helping on the farm until Hitler came along. Hitler started telling people his ideas, and Heck liked them. He was very excited to join the Hitler Youth when he was ten years old.
Helen Waterford married Siegfried Wohlfarths. His parents did not approve of her because of her father's nationality. Even though his parents did not give consent, they were married. Soon after that they had a daughter named Doris. They were happy because they had many friends, and some of them had just had children as well.
Alfon's Heck took the Hitler Youth very seriously. No one in his family approved of the nazi's ideas, but it was illegal to keep your child from joining. Germany was becoming a bad place for Jews. Many Jews began to leave Germany, including Heck's best friend. Heck was becoming more involved with the nazis, and soon he would risk anything for them.
Waterford and Wohlfarths tried to leave Germany, and they moved to Amsterdam. Shortly after their move there they were forced to go into hiding. They could not take their daughter with them so they had to find someone for her to stay with.