A teenaged lace maker, Beatrice, gets the opportunity to escape her dreary Irish existence, and travel to Berlin to work for a prominent German family. The year is 1938, and despite warnings from her family, she took her chances and found herself in a country at war with the rest of Europe. The perspective Beatrice offers, of an expat torn between loyalties – to her native country, and to her new German family – gives this work of historical fiction a unique and interesting slant. Her employer, Felix Metzenburg, is a wealthy collector of artwork. His seeming obsession to hide and keep safe his valuables, allows the author to explore the meaning in what we hold dear to us. This novel was well researched, and provided a vehicle which helped the reader to understand World War II from the point of view of the average German (and an expat living there), but also gripped at your heartstrings and gave you cause to appreciate the author’s deft storytelling.
4 stars (out of 4)
Published in 2012