An extraordinarily moving and often very funny novel with the resonance of The Reader. The narrator is a young boy who is told that his parents, while escaping East Germany to the west ran into a troop of Russians and his mother fearing that she, her husband and Arnold, their first born, would be shot, shoved her child into the arms of a passing woman who disappeared immediately in the tide of refugees. Neither father nor mother were shot and they are faced with the terrible realisation that Arnold's life was never really in danger.The story is told by the younger son, a boy who is never named and is ignored by his parents as his mother becomes obsessed with finding her lost child. The search, via the Youth service is both incredibly funny and very unsettling as the narrator has very ambivalent feelings towards his invisible elder brother and what seems like his parents' insanity. The story builds to a powerful and devastating conclusion when, perhaps, Arnold has finally been found...This book has huge commercial potential and is absolutely compelling from first page to last.
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