Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Road Between Us by Nigel Farndale

In the opening scene of The Road Between Us, Charles and Anselm are caught out for ‘conduct unbecoming’ in a London hotel room. This is unfortunate, not only because they are both men and it is 1939, but also because Word War Two is about to start and while Charles is English, Anselm is German.

Both are to experience a difficult war – Charles loses his RAF commission, while Anselm, sent home to Germany, struggles to survive in a concentration camp.

The narrative switches between their story and that of Edward, a career diplomat who has been imprisoned by the Taleban in Afghanistan for eleven years. It is a different kind of war, but his barbaric imprisonment in a cave with barely enough food and no light, makes his experience similarly life-threatening.

All three characters must dig deep to get through and for each of them it is love that keeps them going. Edward’s release and adjustment to a world that has changed enormously also throws up some other connections to Charles and Anselm’s story and a mystery that is not revealed until the end of the book.

On one level Nigel Farndale’s latest novel demonstrates the effects of war on individual lives. It also explores the power of love, and the difficult decisions and sacrifices that must be made on account of love. An engrossing and well-crafted story from the author who brought us the critically acclaimed novel, The Blasphemer.

Posted by JAM

Catalogue link: The Road Between Us

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