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Tobi and Ella's childhood in East Berlin is shrouded in mystery. Now adults living in London, their past in full of unanswered questions. Both remember their family's daring and terrifying attempt to escape, which ended in tragedy; but the fall-out from that single event remains elusive. Where did their parents disappear to, and why? What happened to Heiko, their little brother? And was there ever a painting of three blue horses?
In contemporary Germany, Aaron works for the archive, making his way through old files, piecing together the tragic history of thousands of families. But one file in particular catches his eye; and soon unravelling the secrets at its heart becomes an obsession.
When Ella is left a stash of notebooks by her mother, and she and Tobi embark on a search that will take them back to Berlin, her fate clashes with Aaron's, and together they piece together the details of Ella's past... and a family destroyed.
Devastating and beautifully written, funny and life-affirming, Confession with Blue Horses explores intimate family life and its strength in the most difficult of circumstances.
Closing date: 06/08/2020
'A tragic family drama, a gripping mystery and a rich history of the impact of a divided country. Sophie Hardach portrays both the political upheavals and personal dramas with subtle poignancy and a sharp eye for detail. Her characters are richly layered and bristle with charm; and she evokes Berlin, both past and present, with all the vibrant colour that a city with such history deserves. Living, as we do, in such politically fractured times, it's a story of truth and reconciliation that packs a very timely punch' Jason Hewitt.
'Hardach's wise and unsentimental novel presents a nuanced picture of East Germany. Hardach is excellent on telling details: there is a tender scene towards the end of the book when Ella visits a McDonald's in West Germany after the fall of the wall, and tries not to be disappointed by the gherkin in the burger. Highly recommended' The Times.
'A powerful story of East and West Germany and the devastating impact of political division on a family's life. Sophie Hardach writes with intelligence, humour and compassion about the resilience of the human spirit and the ties that bind us. Gripping and beautifully written' Sophia Tobin.
'The sheer beauty of Confession with Blue Horses lies in Sophie Hardach's deft hand at creating an atmospheric and page-turning story of lives built and destroyed in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Incredibly moving, and in parts, devastating, but always beaming with hope. An exquisite, memorable novel' Kate Mayfield, author of The Parentations.
Publication date: 19/12/2019
Publisher: Head of Zeus
|Publication date:||19th December 2019|
|Publisher:||Head of Zeus|
|Genres:||Family Drama, Historical Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Sophie Hardach is the author of two novels, The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages, about Kurdish refugees, and Of Love and Other Wars, about pacifists during World War Two. Also a journalist, she worked as a correspondent for Reuters news agency in Tokyo, Paris and Milan and has written for a number of publications including the Atlantic, the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph.More About Sophie Hardach