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As a fan of historical fiction, I knew this book wouldn t have to work hard to win me over However, I didn t know how easily the characters would draw me into their lives into a world of motherless children and childless mothers, a world trying to live again amongst the rubble of broken buildings, bodies, and spirits Brook gets every nuance of grief just right, without sentimentality, but with hard truths He shows us how life is born from death, and how the broken seek and ultimately find a As a fan of historical fiction, I knew this book wouldn t have to work hard to win me over However, I didn t know how easily the characters would draw me into their lives into a world of motherless children and childless mothers, a world trying to live again amongst the rubble of broken buildings, bodies, and spirits Brook gets every nuance of grief just right, without sentimentality, but with hard truths He shows us how life is born from death, and how the broken seek and ultimately find a way to rise again Rating 2.5 stars.The Aftermath is set after WW2 in Germany Captain Lewis from the UK is overseeing the rebuilding of a war torn, bomb shocked Hamburg He resides in a manor house on the city outskirts with his wife Rachel and son Edmund However he makes the unusual decision not to dehouse the German family who currently live there and both families must somehow find a way to put aside their personal feelings and old grievances and live together.If I were to break up with this book, I would say Rating 2.5 stars.The Aftermath is set after WW2 in Germany Captain Lewis from the UK is overseeing the rebuilding of a war torn, bomb shocked Hamburg He resides in a manor house on the city outskirts with his wife Rachel and son Edmund However he makes the unusual decision not to dehouse the German family who currently live there and both families must somehow find a way to put aside their personal feelings and old grievances and live together.If I were to break up with this book, I would say It s not you, it s me And in someways, I think it is me, the other reviews are very positive so maybe this book was just not for me or maybe I read it at the wrong time However we all know the it s not you, it s me is only a line and so I do have my reasons for not liking the book.On the positive side, there was great detail, impressive research and it feels very authentic It was interesting to read about a period of history that I don t see covered very often You really get a feel for how devastated Hamburg was after the war, the sense of confusion in the air and how emotionally charged everyone was I had never considered just how displaced people were in Germany after the war and it was horrific to read about Especially the feral children who had been orphaned and who are trying to survive and adapt as best they can The begging from the US UK soldiers for cigarettes which they can then use to barter for other essential items was heart wrenching And the sense of confusion and mayhem and desperation from the people to distance themselves from any Nazi links to survive in the new Germany is well portrayed.However, The Aftermath is told from multiple points of view which I found confusing at times We jumped from one to another with no warning which felt jarring and stopped me connecting fully with the various characters Quite often I had to stop and reread a few sentences to decide which character we were now following For the first few pages of the book, I had no idea what was happening and I went back to read the synopsis again to try and get a handle on what the book was about After finishing the book, those first few pages makesense but are still very jumbled.As I didn t engage with the characters, I found the book hard work and I had no sense of urgency to keep reading There are multiple stories going on but none of them over engaged me How much I want to pick a book up and continue reading is my book likability barometer and the arrow was hovering at low for The Aftermath It is a book, I m glad I read as I did get an appreciation for what life after the war was like but I can t say I enjoyed it Recommended Only if you like historical novels and want to find outabout this period Thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review From the blurb 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 th From the blurb 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 certainly one of the best WWII books I have read in a very long time My recent enjoyment of Last Letter from Istandbul by Lucy Foley, led me to this novel The difference was the unimaginable horror of the aftermath of the war on German citizens I was interested in this novel since reading the German history in the era between WWI, the Bolsjewik Revolution of 1917, and WWII What millions of people don t realize, is how the Treaty of Versailles, which brought WWI to an end, also brought famine and horror to the already devastated inhabitants of Germany Twenty four million Germans died as a result and brought Hitler to powerAnd, with this, Lewis delivered the first of his killer statistics Do you know that we droppedbombs on Hamburg in a weekend than the Germans dropped on London in the entire war He said it to Edmund, but he wanted Rachael to hear it, wanted her to take in its full force to eliminate the prejudice and self pity Almost on cue, the ruination of Hamburg opened up around them, and if, at first, it looked no different to the mental pictures they had of London, Coventry, Bristol, the scale of it accumulated with every yard There were no standing structures ahead of them, behind them or on either side, only rubble, and rivers of people moving at the side of the road They started it, though, didn t they, Father Lewis nodded Of course They started it They started it when their grievances were stirred in a pot by a conjurer they started it with every arm raised and armband worn, with every rally attended and road built, with every utterance applauded they started it with every shop smashed, every plane launched and bomb dropped They started it But where were they Where was the master race that swallowed continents now Surely it wasn t these pathetically clad, feeble limbed troglodytes plodding along at the side of the shattered road 0 At least they re less trouble when they re hungry, Burnham said, offering a mirthless smile 0 Have you seen the people at the gates Do you look at those waifs and strays, those skeletal, yellow, stinking, homeless people bowing and fawning and scraping for food and shelter and think By God, yes, I must remind these people that they have been defeatedIn The Aftermath Germany is once again paying the price of war, and the circumstances in the country was just as terrible as other countries, or even worse The Aftermath is a gripping tale of adjustment, of unlikely friendships and the magic of forgiveness on all the people involved It is an uplifting, inspirational novel, despite the gruesome details of the aftermath of war on Europe and its people An atmospheric, detailed, gripping experience This book is equal to the stunning novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr I am delighted to discover the novels of the multiple award winning author, Rhidian Brook I just love his style, approach, open mindedness and knack for detail HIGHLY RECOMMENDED It is not good when you start a book and don t believe in the feasibility of the characters first actions These actions didn t fit the characters personalities Once this feeling was lodged in my head I could never throw it off The characters, their relationships and their actions were not credible This is a book of historical fiction that depicts the first years after WW2 in Germany The setting is Hamburg and the year is 1946 What saved me from giving the book only one star is the accura It is not good when you start a book and don t believe in the feasibility of the characters first actions These actions didn t fit the characters personalities Once this feeling was lodged in my head I could never throw it off The characters, their relationships and their actions were not credible This is a book of historical fiction that depicts the first years after WW2 in Germany The setting is Hamburg and the year is 1946 What saved me from giving the book only one star is the accurate and interesting description of the situation in Germany at this time It was split into four zones, controlled by the English, the Americans, the French and the Russians respectively The political tensions between the nations are emerging.The dramatic ending is cinematic in tone It was NOT to my taste Talk about unbelievable Talk about cute Talk about tying up all the strings into a neat little bow I don t mind sex in a book, but every darn relationship was propelled by sex This too was not believable Did the author do this to attract contemporary readers I liked the historical but not the fictional content of this book The narration by Leighton Pugh was fine ( DOWNLOAD E-PUB ) ☪ Talo Elben rannalla ♶ Romaani sodan rikkomista ihmisist , mutta my s humaani puheenvuoro ymm rt misen ja anteeksiannon puolestaTalo Elben rannalla tarjoaa erilaisen n k kulman toiseen maailmansotaan voittajat eiv t ole pelk st n sankareita eiv tk h vi j t syyllisi Tarina kuvaa sodan j lkeisen Saksan j nnitteit kahdessa perheess , jotka yritt v t toipua v kivallan j tt mist haavoista Rachel could find no solace in other people s tales of woe Pain was uniquely one s own, and undiminished by a democracy of suffering Meticulous writing, language wise The story Not so much It would have been so much better, in my opinion, if the focus was on the two main families When it started to petter out to other sub plots, the book lost me. Warning contains mild spoilers I ummed and aahed about what rating to give this I settled on 2.5 stars, then remembered you can t do half stars, so ummed and aahed a bitand opted to round up to three stars.This book was a bit odd for me I love history, particularly World War Two and after I also love historical fiction This book seemed to tick both those boxes for me, so I was sure I d really like it.And that is the strange thing I did like lots of things about it He s a good write Warning contains mild spoilers I ummed and aahed about what rating to give this I settled on 2.5 stars, then remembered you can t do half stars, so ummed and aahed a bitand opted to round up to three stars.This book was a bit odd for me I love history, particularly World War Two and after I also love historical fiction This book seemed to tick both those boxes for me, so I was sure I d really like it.And that is the strange thing I did like lots of things about it He s a good writer, it s an interesting story in an interesting setting I found the book made me want to continue reading, and I finished it pretty quickly, at least by my usual standards I don t have the huge commute or sleep disorder which enable some people to read anything at a rate of knots.The story wasn t in any way unbelievable, there was no credibility stretching stuff in there I also felt like it did a very good job conveying the horrific mess of Hamburg in 1945 or,accurately, Hamburg post the terrible bombing which killed so many people.So, despite all of that, why only 3 well, 2.5 stars It just felt a little superficial to me It was as if the author had painstakingly plotted out the environment his characters would inhabit, and the relationships they would have, yet had paid not enough attention to developing these relationships over time.So, for example, we go from a situation where and there s a spoiler here the main female character in the book goes from a frosty resentment of the German in whose house they are living, to having an affair with him in what seems like a matter of a day or two We go from mistrust and animosity to passion in one jump without passing through any intermediate stages Not only that, but the affair could be spotted pretty much from the start, it was that predictable.I also felt that some of the characters were pretty cartoonish The creepy intelligence major and his social climber wife felt particularly cliched to me The scene with the Russian, American and French military representatives felt to me like it was straight out of the Big Book of National Stereotypes, 1945 edition I didn t really see the point of Lewis s interpreter at all The character really went nowhere.The ending of the book felt somewhat like a case of I ve got nothingto write here, so I ll knock it on the head , as if a convenient way to wrap matters up had been found, and even then, it didn t really seem like a particularly good or conclusive ending It just felt like the book had run out of steam.A shame, really, I had really wanted to like this book, and although I have read far worse books than this so far this year, this was pretty disappointing stuff Soon to be a Major Motion Picture Soon to be a major motion picture proudly proclaims the book jacket And I am not surprised Rhidian Brook s novel has well developed characters, ample romance and danger, an important historical context, and significant moral issues The only major movie challenge would be to capture the devastation of Hamburg in 1946, the city still shattered by the 1943 fire bombings Brook writes well, easily shifting between different settings and points of view A bit too Soon to be a Major Motion Picture Soon to be a major motion picture proudly proclaims the book jacket And I am not surprised Rhidian Brook s novel has well developed characters, ample romance and danger, an important historical context, and significant moral issues The only major movie challenge would be to capture the devastation of Hamburg in 1946, the city still shattered by the 1943 fire bombings Brook writes well, easily shifting between different settings and points of view A bit too easily, perhaps There is a particularly British style of storytelling that I have noted before, especially in war stories Kate Atkinson sLife After Lifeis a recent example , rooted almost in domestic social comedy, that makes for highly enjoyable reading and would translate easily to film But although this does not have the artificial sheen of a Hollywood screenplay, it just misses the jagged edge that the subject ideally demands, that would have distinguished the true novelist from the able screenwriter.Colonel Lewis Morgan arrives in Hamburg in 1946 to take up the post of Regional Governor under the British occupation An exquisite house is requisitioned for him on the banks of the Elbe, but rather that sending the former owners to a billet elsewhere, he asks the family to stay on, using the upper floor as their apartment This unique offer is only one of many ways that show him to be an altogetherhumane administrator than his doctrinaire colleagues, for whom fraternization is a deadly sin So the Morgans move in with the Luberts Lewis with his wife Rachel and 11 year old son Edmund, Stefan with his slightly older daughter Freda, a former Hitlerm del who refuses to accept defeat Both families have suffered losses Stefan Lubert s wife was killed in the firestorm Rachel Morgan lost her eldest son to a stray bomb dropped in an apparently safe area She has become bitter and withdrawn, unreasonably casting blame on her husband, and resenting the living arrangements that have been forced upon her.Brook says that his inspiration was the unusual decision of his grandfather to share his requisitioned house in a similar situation to Colonel Morgan s One assumes that most of this is imagination, because I don t think I would want my grandchildren to know the sordid details of that fraught year of cohabitation But it is all believable, and all the major characters ultimately show a strong moral sense, no matter what missteps they may have made in getting there Lewis is perhaps a little too good to be true, but his humane bonhomie also has its limitations there are still very real dangers out there Rhidian Brook is best in his domestic scenes, but almost as good in the office, presenting Lewis successes and occasional failures with colleagues, visiting politicians, and his superior general The author is also to be commended for including a subplot focusing on a group of feral children, the so called Tr mmerkinder, made homeless by the war This is not as successful as the elements he can imagine at first hand, though he is certainly trying to get beyond the domestic, to reach the degradation and horror I especially commend him for not sugar coating the civilian slaughter caused by the Allied devastation, and some of the British attitudes early in the book made me cringe This is not a perfect novel I was at 3.5 stars most of the time I was reading But its moral center is in the right place, and that encourages me to round up At first I really did not think I could write a review The topic of this book just hit too close to home And even now, after the silver lining at the end, there is a certain heaviness on my chest.This book is about a British Colonel, his wife and son who go to live in Hamburg, Germany, because the Colonel is in charge of rebuilding the city after WWII Colonel Lewis Morgan is a kind man Not really good at expressing his emotions which nearly drove me up the walls but he believes in humanity At first I really did not think I could write a review The topic of this book just hit too close to home And even now, after the silver lining at the end, there is a certain heaviness on my chest.This book is about a British Colonel, his wife and son who go to live in Hamburg, Germany, because the Colonel is in charge of rebuilding the city after WWII Colonel Lewis Morgan is a kind man Not really good at expressing his emotions which nearly drove me up the walls but he believes in humanity and forgiveness That, of course, does not sit well with other officers, his superiors and even his wife Rachel has not been herself ever since the night her son Michael was killed in front of her in a night bombing Edmund, the youngest son, is alive but definitely neglected by both parents, and tries to navigate an alien world.In addition to that, Colonal Morgan has offered the German family in whose house the Morgans are scheduled to live to stay with them the house is a villa so there isthan enough room Again, noble, but not very well thought through.The owner of the house, Herr Luber, has lost his wife in the war and needs to raise his daughter, Frieda, alone no easy task since the girl definitely is disturbed if you ask me and not just because of the loss of her mother either, judging by some revelations later on in the book.So we have this host of characters plus some others from the British military A very potent mix.What was so difficult for me were the accurate descriptions of Hamburg after the war The people there the cold the starvation the hopelessness all the silly prejudice against Germans I nearly broke down on the train when Edmund, at the beginning of the book, reads the pamphlet they got as instructions for living in Germany the hate on both sides the fear.The narrator is doing a pretty good job even with the German words and phrases so this was a very nice audiobook and the author had a very intricate and wonderful way of first creating and then interweaving all the different POVs I just think that I might have enjoyed the often beautiful writing stylehad my mind not wandered off to what I remembered from history lessons and my grandparents accounts This book was a bitter disappointment I expected this to be so much better than it was, and now I m sitting here happy that I ve finished it, so I can move the hell on The plot is weak I knew what was going to happen, before I got halfway through, and for me, that is never a good thing Nothing remotely exciting happens, there is a distinct dreary tone, and I was wondering, what is the point of this book What was it trying to achieve Apparently, not much The characters were so thinly descri This book was a bitter disappointment I expected this to be so much better than it was, and now I m sitting here happy that I ve finished it, so I can move the hell on The plot is weak I knew what was going to happen, before I got halfway through, and for me, that is never a good thing Nothing remotely exciting happens, there is a distinct dreary tone, and I was wondering, what is the point of this book What was it trying to achieve Apparently, not much The characters were so thinly described, and I cannot say that I had any particular love for any of them They all seemed so driven by sex, they had lost their way Sex is fine, but when the characters sole intent is to purely get their legs over, the reader does begin to wonder what is going on.This book was tedious, and I m shocked that this has been made into a film I m yawning already