Two elderly women, one Dutch and one German, meet by chance at the famous health resort of Spa. They recognize in the other their twin sister they believed to be lost. They begin to tell each other their life stories – the last chance to bridge a gulf of almost seventy years. In this monumental novel, Tessa de Loo compellingly weaves the story of two twin sisters separated in childhood with that of two countries opposed in war, and depicts, in a simple yet harrowing prose the effects of nature and nurture on the individual.
'Gripping and touching … Tessa de Loo's powerful narrative filters Europe's grand events through a family story that tests the ties of blood against the pull of passion and the blast of war' Independent
'A huge success … a memorable and moving tale' Sunday Telegraph
'Has there ever been, one wonders, a more imaginative and moving dramatization of the human cost of the divisions and destruction wreaked by Hitler’s madness? Quite likely not. A flat-out masterpiece: exhilarating and unforgettable' Kirkus Review