Not sure if I picked up too many WW II novels this year or if there has been a spate of them on the 70th anniversary of its end. The setting is the same as ‘The Plum Tree’ and ‘The narrow road to the deep north’ but it is unique in that it traces the lives of two characters on the either side – a German boy and a French Girl in what the war does to their lives. The canvas is bigger than just the war though. The girl is blind, has a supportive father and a recluse grand uncle. There is also a stone – a diamond – that is hunted by a German sergeant. The German side is written very well – the slow indoctrination, the shutting to the outside world and the shame of the loss is captured very well. The book is written beautifully, paced well and moves purposefully towards a fitting finale.
Recommendation: Must read.