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February 1945. Europe is in ruins and the Red Army is searing its way across Germany’s eastern marches, revenging itself upon a petrified population. The war is over, but for some the fight for survival is only just beginning.
Alix, the aristocratic daughter of a German resistance fighter, is alone and desperate to flee before the Reds come. But when a ferocious snowstorm descends she must return to the shelter of her abandoned ancestral home. There, she is shocked to find her childhood sweetheart Gregor. As old passions are rekindled, a couple break into the house to hide – the man, dressed in Gestapo uniform, is a stranger, but his companion is altogether more familiar.
By morning, the blizzard has died down but the Reds are back. The woman and her Nazi escort are dead, and Gregor has vanished. Alone and terrified, Alix runs for her life, and embarks upon an extraordinary and heartbreaking journey.
It will take sixty years and the fall of another empire – Communism – before the riddles of that fateful night can be deciphered.
Restitution is a memorable novel about love and betrayal, hatred and heroism – a reminder that, even in the worst of times, the most courageous acts of kindness are possible.
- Pan Macmillan, February 2011
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