THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER, NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING KEIRA KNIGHTLEY
In the bitter winter of 1946, Rachael Morgan arrives in the ruins of Hamburg. Here she is reunited with her husband Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. As they set off for their new home Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an extraordinary decision: they will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
'This masterly novel wrings every drop of feeling out of a gripping human situation.' Mail on Sunday
'Superb. Conjures surprise after surprise' Guardian
'Excellent, original, masterly. A captivating tale not only of love among the ruins but also of treachery and vengeance' Literary Review
'Profoundly moving, beautifully written. Ponders issues of decency, guilt and forgiveness' Independent
'Terrific. Suspicion, resentment and misunderstanding haunt this city. Richly atmospheric' Sunday Telegraph
Postwar Hamburg is the backdrop for British writer Brook's (The Testimony of Taliesin Jones) emotionally charged third novel, which is inspired by his family history. British Col. Lewis Morgan is stationed in the German city in 1946. He requisitions a house for his family, but instead of casting out its German owners (the standard procedure), he allows them to remain. Brook's chilling observations of Hamburg's defeated inhabitants and "the fantastic destruction that lay all around" are unnerving and riveting. "Feral" children, he writes, beg for cigarettes and chocolates, and "Rubble Runners" clean up the remains of bombed-out buildings in exchange for food vouchers. But the novel's smaller stage the home that Morgan; his wife, Rachael; and their son, Edmund, share with Stefan Lubert and his daughter, Freda tells the bigger story. The blended families are uncomfortable with their new relationship, and the toxic effects of unassuaged grief for lost love ones complicates the situation. Fans of WWII-era historical fiction will be drawn to this novel. First printing of 75,000.