A rare novel of beauty and scope and ambition ... without doubt Gainham's masterpiece
Brilliantly captures the mass confusion, corruption ... and the mistrust of even friends and family engendered by the occupation. Leaves you with an indelible impression.
A vivid picture of war . . . Gainham is a master storyteller.
One of my favourite books . . . The story of Julia's double life is moving and memorable.
One of the most rewarding novels I have ever read ... It is all done with a sure, confident but restrained hand, which make the terror and horror of it all the more potent. I feel confident in recommending it to anyone who prefers a big serious subject wrapped in a sparkling, alluring parcel of well-plotted, well-told and exciting fiction, as I do.
A pleasure to read . . . a compellingly intimate portrait of Vienna from the Anschluss to the end of the Second World War, which captures its atmosphere of fear, mistrust, corruption and ultimate collapse. There are no heroics; instead Sarah Gainham offers a scrupulously detailed story of individuals forced through barbarism into chaos.
This arresting book, saturated with a sense of place, paints a compelling portrait of a society swiftly descending into chaos.
Brilliant and moving.