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Synopsis

Don't miss Georgina Harding's newest novel "The Painter of Silence" available in September, 2012.

It is 1961, and the world is in black and white. Eight-year-old Anna watches the Cold War unfold on her television set and builds precarious houses of cards on the sitting-room carpet. Her older brother Peter glues together German bombers and hangs them from his bedroom ceiling, while their mother brightly bosses him to go outside to play.
Then, one stingingly cold morning made indistinct by the freezing fog, the world changes. A kiss that barely touches Anna's cheek, a rumble of exhaust and a blurred wave through an icy windscreen, and her mother is gone. Anna and Peter do not attend the funeral. Their father, ever evasive, remains gentle but distant, absorbed always in quietly tending his garden, burying his grief.
Life returns to normal: Anna goes to school, practises her scales, doesn't ask questions. But Peter will not let go of a fierce conviction that Karoline is still alive. Fascinated by the daily tales of espionage in the newspapers, he constructs a theory that their mother, German by birth, was a spy working under the cover of perfect post-war domesticity. And as Anna examines her mother's image, a blandly pretty studio portrait of post-war New Look woman, the many possibilities of who she might have been refract and scatter like coloured light through glass.

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