The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

aftermathPublished by Knopf, September 2013 ****

I was extremely intrigued by the premise of this book, as there are plenty of historical novels about WWII, but very few dealing with Germany in the years following the War. British Colonel Lewis Morgan is stationed in Hamburg and tasked with repairing a broken country and denazifying its citizens. He and his family are placed in a requisitioned house and Lewis decides against kicking the rightful owners out of their own home. What develops is a strained relationship between Lewis’ wife Rachel and homeowner Stefan and his rebellious daughter Freda. Everyone is dealing with loss: Rachel of her oldest son and Stefan of his wife and Freda of her mother.

This is ultimately the story of how these two families find a way to heal. I wish there had been more about the overall structure of the rebuilding effort by the Allies, maybe a little Nazi interrogation or the ferreting out of unsavory elements. But it does demonstrate how thankless and tiresome Lewis’ job is and the tension between the occupying forces and the defeated German citizens. The author effectively captures the deprivation and desperation of the country, so I can commend this for being a solid piece of historical fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Amazon Vine program.

One response to “The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

  1. I added this to my reading list when I saw that John Irving had written a glowing testimonial (Irving is one of my favourite authors) – the power of marketing!😉

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