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The international bestselling blockbuster to rival Birdsong and Atonement.

In the bitter winter of 1946, Rachael Morgan arrives with her only remaining son Edmund in the ruins of Hamburg. Here she is reunited with her husband Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But 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.

Reviews

Excellent, original, masterly. A captivating tale not only of love among the ruins but also of treachery and vengeance

Literary Review

Superb. Conjures surprise after surprise

Guardian

Profoundly moving, beautifully written. Ponders issues of decency, guilt and forgiveness

Independent

Terrific. Suspicion, resentment and misunderstanding haunt this city. Richly atmospheric

Sunday Telegraph

An extraordinary read

Daily Mail

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780241984062

    April 2, 2019

    Viking

    336 pages

    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • Paperback

    9780241957479

    October 22, 2014

    Penguin General UK

    336 pages

    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

Extract

“We’ve found a house for you, sir.” 

Captain Wilkins stubbed out his cigarette and placed his yellowed finger on the map of Hamburg that was pinned to the wall behind his desk. He traced a line west from the pinhead marking their temporary headquarters, away from the bombed-out districts of Hammerbrook and St. Georg, over St. Pauli and Altona, towards the old fishing suburb of Blankenese, where the Elbe veered up and debouched into the North Sea. The map—pulled from a pre-war German guidebook—failed to show that these conurbations were now a phantom city comprised only of ash and rubble.

“It’s a bloody great palace by the river. Here.” Wilkins’s finger circled the crook at the end of the Elbchaussee, the road running parallel to the great river. “I think it’ll be to your taste, sir.”

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