A compelling wartime drama for fans of Lucinda Riley, Rachel Hore and Katherine Webb
Detta works as a translator for a Nazi-run labour camp for French workers. One winter morning in early 1945, Detta passes a group of exhausted British prisoners of war who are being force-marched westwards. The following day she receives an urgent message to contact the local priest. He is harbouring a group of escaped British prisoners of war in the manse: can she help?
London, 1989. Miranda is a 19-year old photography student in London, in thrall to her older boyfriend, a journalist called Quill. In November the fall of the Berlin Wall is all over the news. Quill asks Miranda to come with him to Germany: before they leave, Miranda's grandmother gives her an old postcard of the village she was born in. Miranda hopes that working together in Berlin will help cement the cracks in her relationship with Quill, but one night his behaviour spills over into violence, and Miranda ends up fleeing through the rubble of the Berlin wall and into the East. As she travels further, she begins to suspect she’s being followed by the Stasi. If she goes on, she worries that she’ll be taken into custody and be accused of spying; if she turns back, it means returning to Quill.
At last her grandmother’s photograph offers the solution. She tells people that she is going to find her family in the East. The Catholic church, and the manse, opposite where her grandmother once lived, are still standing. And the secrets of the past begin to be revealed.
Clare Harvey is an ex-army wife. The Gunner Girl, her debut novel, was inspired by her mother-in-law's experience during WWII and written while her husband was on active service in Afghanistan. It won the Exeter Novel Prize in 2015 and the RNA Joan Hessayon Prize in 2016. She has since written The English Agent and The Night Raid. She lives in Nottingham with her family. Find out more on facebook - facebook.com/clareharvey13 - her website www.clareharvey.net or on twitter @clareharveyauth.
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