This is a strangely disturbing book about three generations of a family who each have a member that has caused psychological or physical pain to someone else and perhaps, although I’m not sure a hint at what they might have learned from the experience.
This is an atmospheric book with the description of Richard and Suzannah’s house which is close to the sea is easily imagined, especially Richard’s study where he entertains Suzannah’s grandchildren, Tony, Sam and Jeff when they are not off completing dares that the eldest Tony sets. With Sam the middle child and only girl striving not to back down while protecting five year old Jeff from the worst of the excesses of Tony’s imagination on one journey through the woods they come across a disused power station which only gives rise to more potential danger.
Meanwhile Kate who is Suzannah’s daughter and aunt to the three children, goes on holiday to Germany to visit her mother’s birthplace. She appears on edge because of the atrocities her Jewish mother suffered and then decides to set her boyfriend a bizarre challenge.
Kindly Richard also has a secret which is based upon a long ago act, keeping this secret is of upmost importance to him but he is just as keen to revisit the event.
Although the tales link, this did feel like reading three entirely different accounts and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of the book. It is clever although I knew the event that Richard finally revealed which unfortunately meant that for me the power of this revelation was much reduced. This book is also well-written, especially the scenes featuring the children but I found Kate’s story a little too contrived and forced.
A short book of approximately 150 pages I think this is a book I will ponder over for some time.
I received this book from Amazon Vine in return for an honest review. Deutschland was published on 31 August 2013.