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W.W. Norton, 1997 - Fiction - 292 pages
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Julian Whyte leads a quiet, emotionally shut down life as a barrister, bachelor, and district coroner in the small village of Mansfield in the south of England. His only close relative is his older brother Raymond, who for the past several years has led the life of an expatriate Communist intellectual in East Germany. But it is 1991. The Berlin Wall is down and Raymond Whyte is moving to Mansfield with his new German wife, Kristina, and family. He hopes for an escape from the moral compromises of his life in a repressive state, but his arrival quickly stirs the suspicions of the small town. When Julian finds himself drawn to Kristina, the family reunion turns sour and fraught with tension. By degrees Julian becomes caught in a spiral of guilt and betrayal from which there is no escape - except perhaps through murder.

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The editorial director of Faber & Faber and coauthor (with Robert MacNeil) of the best-selling The Story of English, McCrum takes politics to a personal level in this story of a reserved British ... Read full review

About the author (1997)

Robert McCrum is the associate editor of The Observer and lives in London with his wife, Sarah Lyall. His books include the bestselling The Story of English, My Year Off, Wodehouse: A Life, and Globish.

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