This is the story of what happened in Germany after World War II looking through the lives of an English officer who was ordered to stay and “clean up” after the war, his wife and son as well as the lives of a German family of survivors and a ragtag group of feral children.

This is, essentially, the story of World War II rarely told.

It is not only the story of war and all its ugly and good repercussions, but it is the story of how you carry on after your life has been blown to bits. It’s an answer to Frodo Baggins’ question: “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on…..”

How do marriages come back together – not to mention countries? How do families resume their normal functions when no normality remains?

Mr. Brooks delivers a brilliant story – very much in the same vein as his previous novel “Atonement”.

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