This review contains no spoilers. Unless you don’t know how WWII ended, that is.
This review is part of my Alphabetical Books Goal.
Hamburg, 1946. Thousands remain displaced in what is now the British Occupied Zone. Charged with overseeing the rebuilding of this devastated city and the de-Nazification of its defeated people, Colonel Lewis Morgan is requisitioned a fine house on the banks of the Elbe, where he will be joined by his grieving wife, Rachael, and only remaining son, Edmund.
But rather than force its owners, a German widower and his traumatized daughter, to leave their home, Lewis insists that the two families live together. In this charged and claustrophobic atmosphere all must confront their true selves as enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
This is a very interesting take on the aftermath of history’s most famous war and tells the story of the destruction that took place within the German borders at the end of the war.
The characters were all fairly well written, but for me the biggest enjoyment came from the setting. The characters were nice and they (obviously) supported the setting and made the plot flow, but there were times when I was just mad at all of them and wanted to find new characters to support the story.
I think the publisher summed it up best: The Aftermath is a stunning novel about our fiercest loyalties, our deepest desires and the transformative power of forgiveness.
I’d reccomend this to anyone who likes historical fiction, WWII history buffs in particular. I think that the context is the most important part of this book, because we have to learn to remember that just because someone is not on our side, or on what we consider the ‘bad side’ they aren’t necessarily a monster. We have to remember that not all the Germans were Nazis and even of those that chose to be many were victims just like everyone else.