The Aftermath

The Aftermath

Book - 2013
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"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."--Publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2013.
Edition: 1st US ed.
ISBN: 9781984897909
9780307958266
0307958264
Call Number: BROOK
Characteristics: 267 p. ; 25 cm
Subjects: Man-woman relationships -- Fiction.
Interpersonal attraction -- Fiction.
Grief -- Fiction.
Hostility (Psychology) -- Fiction.
Betrayal -- Fiction.
Forgiveness -- Fiction.
Loyalty -- Fiction.
Hamburg (Germany) -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction.
Germany -- History -- 1945-1955 -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.

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fashiongirl
Jun 12, 2019

I really enjoyed this book and the writing quality is wonderful.

ArapahoeKati May 07, 2019

The writing reminded me of Ian McEwan's Atonement and the plot reminded me of W. Somerset Maughm's The Painted Veil. A great historical novel to read that focuses not on WWII but its aftermath.

l
lilypad_1
Jun 25, 2015

I was drawn to the book since I had not read anything about post war Germany. The challenges that faced England, the US and the Soviet Union must have been daunting much as winning the war was. But this aspect of the story was diluted with weird backstories of feral children and other characters who were not central to the story. Would still like to read a book about the original premise.

g
gusmcrae
Mar 02, 2015

I'm not sure that this is totally a solid 3 stars, but I did find this book fairly engaging. Some characters were more interesting than others, which definitely affected how much I was pulled into the reading--some chapters flew by and some dragged.

e
EmilyEm
Oct 30, 2014

A British major with the Occupation in Hamburg in the aftermath of WW II allows the widowed owner and his daughter to lodge with them when their home is requisitioned for his family's use. All have been touched by the war's bombings-the German Luberts have lost wife and mother and the British Morgans their oldest son. The story is based on a real events in Brook's family and, of course, in this time. The characters are too good or two bad in some cases, but not so different than real life. The feral children add an element of humor. The author's also written a screenplay for Ridley Scott; you can easily see the bones of a movie. Good summer reading.

m
maven
Apr 03, 2014

The premise seemed interesting, but I didn't feel as enthused once I got a few chapters in. I wasn't always convinced of the time period, partly due to the language, and it felt like a lot of heavy-handed telling rather than showing right off the bat. After several tedious conversations, some clunky turns of phrase ("a tiara of sweat?" really?), and a liberal sprinkling of ten-dollar words throughout, I had to bail.

b
bookwormjeph
Sep 01, 2013

an excellent read with great insight into the aftermath of WW2 on Germany when it was divided between the British, Americans and Russians.
the novel focuses on a British Colonel and his family sharing a house with a German officer and his daughter and the quietly understated storyline pulls one into the ensuing relationships which are intriguing, sad and ultimately freeing for the people involved. Probably the best novel I have read for a long time.

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