The spectacular, sweeping new novel from the internationally acclaimed author of Birdsong and Human Traces.
Looking back to the Vienna of Klimt and Freud and forward to the shadow that is starting to fall over Europe, Sebastian Faulks's new novel is an intensely personal story that focuses on Lena, a spirited girl born with nothing, and Anton, a man of passion and self-doubt.
Lena was born with nothing but her own strength of character to an alcoholic mother in a small town in southern Austria in 1906. Anton is the restless son of a bourgeois family who sets out to make his fortune in pre-First World War Vienna. Their lives become fatally entwined at the Schloss Seeblick in 1933, with Europe precariously placed between two wars.
This novel looks at yearning and desire, at memories true and false, and at how the most private moments of our lives are shaped by the invisible forces of history. Thematically complex, it is held together by a narrative that drives to an unforgettable ending.