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The Undertaking

The Undertaking by Audrey Magee
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Desperate to escape the Eastern front, Peter Faber, an ordinary German soldier, marries Katharina Spinell, a woman he has never met; it is a marriage of convenience that promises honeymoon leave for him and a pension for her should he die on the front. With ten days' leave secured, Peter visits his new wife in Berlin; both are surprised by the attraction that develops between them.

When Peter returns to the horrors of the front, it is only the dream of his wife that sustains him as he approaches Stalingrad. Back in Berlin, Katharina, goaded on by her desperate and delusional parents, ruthlessly works her way into the Nazi party hierarchy, wedding herself, her young husband and their unborn child to the regime. But when the tide of war turns and Berlin falls, Peter and Katharina, ordinary people stained with their small share of extraordinary guilt, find their simple dream of family increasingly hard to hold on to.

A stunning, riveting debut novel in the tradition of Bernhard Schlink's The Reader and Rachel Seiffert's The Dark Room, The Undertaking shines an intense light on history and illuminates the lives of those caught up in one of its darkest chapters.

'The Undertaking is written with sympathy and skill. The narrative is tense and engaging, filled with complex undertones, impelled by an urgency and a deep involvement with the characters.' Colm Toibin

'A bold and unsettling feat of empathy, all the more daring for its taut, beautifully understated style.' A D Miller

'Audrey Magee is one of the most exciting new talents to arrive on the literary scene. There is an emotional depth to her writing which elevates her to the top rank of contemporary novelists. I read the book with awe and gratitude.' Fergal Keane

Allen & Unwin; February 2014
304 pages; ISBN 9781743436783
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: The Undertaking
Author: Audrey Magee
 
ISBNs
1743436785
9781743316528
9781743436783

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