English | 2021 | ISBN: 1783529067 | 344 pages | EPUB | 7.9 MB
Vicky Unwin had always known her father - an erstwhile intelligence officer and respected United Nations diplomat - was Czech, but it was not until a stranger turned up on her doorstep that she discovered he was also Jewish.
So began a quest to discover the truth about his past - one that perhaps would help answer the niggling doubts she had always had about her 'perfect' father. Finally persuading him to allow her to open a closely guarded cache of family books and papers, Vicky discovered the identity of her grandfather: the tormented author and diplomat Hermann Ungar, hugely controversial in both life and in death, who was a protégé and possible lover of Thomas Mann, and a friend of Berthold Brecht and Stefan Zweig. How much of her father's child was Vicky - and how much of his father's child was he?
As Vicky worked to uncover deeply buried family secrets, she would find herself slowly unpicking the lingering power of 'survivors' guilt' on the generations that followed the Holocaust, and would learn, via a deathbed confession, of the existence of a previously unknown sister.
Together, the sisters attempted to come to terms with what had made their father into the deeply flawed, complex, yet charismatic man he has always been, journeying together through grief and heartache towards forgiveness.