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The Aftermath: Now A Major Film Starring…

The Aftermath: Now A Major Film Starring Keira Knightley (original 2013; edition 2014)

by Rhidian Brook (Author)

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Assigned to oversee the reconstruction of Hamburg in the tumultuous year following World War II, Colonel Lewis Morgan grieves the loss of his son while living with his family in the home of a German widower, an arrangement that forces both families to confront their passions and true selves.
Title:The Aftermath: Now A Major Film Starring Keira Knightley
Authors:Rhidian Brook (Author)
Info:Penguin (2014), 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (2013)


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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
No easy answers exist in this novel set in post-WWII Hamburg, Germany. An unusual living situation between a wealthy German family and a British officer and his family brings two very different views of the war into conflict with each other. This novel vividly depicts the state of Germany after its defeat - cities reduced to rubble, children orphaned, difficulty obtaining basic necessities, and hard questions about who truly supported the Nazi party and the guilt of average citizens. No novel can really come to a clean conclusion about these questions, and this one does not try. It does, however, provide a rich sense of what living in a particular place, at a particular time, would have been like. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jan 3, 2020 |
I want to watch The Aftermath the movie, so of course, I started by reading the book. And, I must say that I quite enjoyed this story about a British family moving into a house with a German widower and his daughter after WW2. Both families have lost much during the war and now they have to live under the same roof. The ending felt a bit abrupt, but I quite enjoyed the writing and the story. Now I'm ready for the movie! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
For followers of my blog: although this novel includes crimes, it is not really crime fiction.
It is part of a genre which explores "real" historical situations, particularly related to issues connected to World War 2.

The setting is Hamburg in 1946, ironically destroyed by British fire bombing late in the war with total devastation of the city and the loss of thousands of "innocent" citizens. The area is now occupied by the British, Russian and the Americans and their mission is to "reform" the German citizens, to change their mind set, and make sure they see Hitler for what he was.

Lewis Morgan is the British officer in charge of this rehabilitation but he is among the humanitarian few who think that feeding the population, housing them, taking them off the streets, and re-establishing schools and work is much more important than working out those who still believe Hitler was right.

The British officers bring their families to Hamburg and settle into requisitioned housing. Some of them carry out vendettas against the German population, at the same time as beginning to repatriate art treasures etc to Britain.

For me the novel raised a number of interesting issues while telling a believable story. ( )
  smik | May 5, 2019 |
Top 3 Reasons Why to Dive into This Book

Top 3 Things to admire about Rhidian Brook’s The Aftermath. No. 1, the overlooked timeframe of the war story. Most WWII novels take place during the war. This story is about the aftermath of World War II in Hamburg in which Occupier/Occupied roles are reversed — the British are the rigid rule makers and German citizens bear the brunt of scarcity and ruin following their defeat. Second are the golden nuggets of Brook’s creative metaphors encapsulating emotion. Here’s one example: ‘But grief, stirred with other unspoken resentments, can set loose a flock of squawking thoughts, which, once out of the cage, are hard to put back.” I took to underlining them as they came up tucked into the text. Finally, No. 3 is the theme of brokenness seeking healing. The characters are shattered and coping in ways that cause their paths to crisscross with each other — sometimes in ways that stir empathy, other times treacherously. You can see the title’s double meaning. Highly recommend it...or you can see the movie! Repost of review on goodreads.com ( )
  Joansf | Mar 9, 2019 |
The Aftermath, set in Hamburg in the immediate post-war period, has such an unusual premise that I wouldn’t have believed it could happen except that the author, Rhidian Brook, says that something like it actually took place. It is 1946 and under the Occupation by the Four Powers (Britain, France, the USSR and the USA) Britain has requisitioned some of the surviving housing for their senior servicemen who are managing reconstruction and de-Nazification. But Colonel Lewis Morgan, when he sees the size of the house he has been assigned, makes a quixotic decision to share the house with its previous owners, and so it is that former enemies who have much to resent end up living under the same roof.
The story begins with some confronting images of the devastation and then the awkward reunion of Lewis with his wife Rachael, who is still traumatised by a German bombing raid on a quiet town in Wales to which they had been evacuated for safety. She was literally blown across the room, and her son was killed. She and her surviving son Edmund haven’t seen Lewis since the funeral and these relationships are all under strain. Rachael is, as you would expect, extremely hostile to the idea of any fraternisation with any Germans, whereas Lewis, a decent man, is keen to do his best to restore normality as soon as possible though not all his colleagues feel the same.
The owner of the house, an architect called Richard Lubert, has lost his wife Claudia in the firestorm, and his daughter Frieda (about the same age as Edmund) hates the British with a passion. These interlopers, she thinks, have consigned the Luberts to the servants’ quarters upstairs, while they enjoy all the comforts of a wealthy household including their three surviving servants. With the schools still in chaos, Frieda goes out to help clear the rubble each day, and comes in contact with a member of a resistance group which has refused to accept defeat.
The proximity of these characters allows for a penetrating exploration of vengeance and forgiveness, guilt and blame in a very charged atmosphere.
To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2018/01/22/the-aftermath-by-rhidian-brook-bookreview/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Jan 21, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Postwar Hamburg is the backdrop for British writer Brook's emotionally charged third novel, which is inspired by his family history. British Col. Lewis Morgan is stationed in the German city in 1946. He requisitions a house for his family, but instead of casting out its German owners (the standard procedure), he allows them to remain. Brook's chilling observations of Hamburg's defeated inhabitants and "the fantastic destruction that lay all around" are unnerving and riveting. "Feral" children, he writes, beg for cigarettes and chocolates, and "Rubble Runners" clean up the remains of bombed-out buildings in exchange for food vouchers. But the novel's smaller stage—the home that Morgan; his wife, Rachael; and their son, Edmund, share with Stefan Lubert and his daughter, Freda—tells the bigger story. The blended families are uncomfortable with their new relationship, and the toxic effects of unassuaged grief for lost love ones complicates the situation.
added by kthomp25 | editPublisher's Weekly

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rhidian Brookprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pugh, LeightonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'You will be called the repairer of broken walls.' Isaiah 58:12

'It doesn't seem to make any sense - one family in a place this size.' - Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
This book is dedicated to Walter, Anthea, Colin, Sheila and Kim Brook
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The Beast is here.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Assigned to oversee the reconstruction of Hamburg in the tumultuous year following World War II, Colonel Lewis Morgan grieves the loss of his son while living with his family in the home of a German widower, an arrangement that forces both families to confront their passions and true selves.

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Assigned to oversee the reconstruction of Hamburg in the tumultuous year following World War II, Colonel Lewis Morgan grieves the loss of his son while living with his family in the home of a German widower, an arrangement that forces both families to confront their passions and true selves.
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