1946, post-World War II Hamburg. While thousands wander the rubble, lost and homeless, Colonel Lewis Morgan, charged with overseeing the rebuilding of this devastated city and the denazification of its defeated people, is stationed in a grand house on the River Elbe. He is awaiting the arrival of his wife, Rachael—still grieving for their eldest son—and their only surviving son, Edmund. But rather than force the owners of the house, a German widower and his rebellious daughter, out onto the streets, Lewis insists that the two families live together. In this charged atmosphere, both parents and children will be forced to confront their true selves as enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal, to their deepest desires, their fiercest loyalties, and the transforming power of forgiveness.
This courageous new novel from award-winning author Rhidian Brook tells an emotionally riveting story of two families, one house, and love grown from hate.
This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
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.