Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Aftermath

After WWII zones were set up in Germany to rebuild, denazify,
democratize, feed and in general help the German citizens. They say the Americans got the view, the French the wine and British got the ruins. When the Morgan family arrive, Colonel Morgan is stationed in Hamburg, one of the most destroyed cities in all of Germany. His wife Rachael and son Edmund make their way by ship from England to be with him, they are scared, nervous and have not seen the Colonel in quite some time. Rachael, not herself since their elder son died in a bombing the year before, and 10 year old Edmund is both reluctant and excited to see his father and begin a new life. There are but a few residences they could possibly stay in while on this post and Colonel's status leads them to a mansion by the river that has survived the war but its owners remain, which can be seen as lucky or suspicious to the troops. Being the fair, kind, intelligent man that he has been through this war, Colonel Morgan allows the father and daughter to remain instead of going to an internment camp where its residents are freezing and starving through the brutal winter. The house is huge but the idea of living with "the enemy" is revolted by the Colonel's colleagues and Rachael's acquaintances. The unlikely understanding and tolerance between the two families is a lesson in itself. Rhidian Brook is an incredible writer who shares this story with creative grace. Coincidentally, after I finished, I found this amazing article - which explains the premise of the novel and connection the author had to this house and this story. Highly recommend The Aftermath, there is no doubt I will be reading more by this talented author.

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