A portrait of three generations of Berlin - Imperial, Nazi and Communist - and the story of one family's struggle with secrets and lies.
Monika Maron, haunted by ghosts of her grandparents, probes and harangues her reluctant mother, Hella: what happened to Hella's parents? Who were these shadowy figures, and why did their workaday lives end so horribly? But Hella can't, or won't say. Finally, refreshing her mother's memory with a box of forgotten letters, Maron pieces together the story of her grandparents' lives.
With the deft feeling for language and the artistic humility that has made her one of her country's most esteemed novelists, Maron has conjured up these everyday people, their heroics and fortitude in the face of evil, and created an unforgettable monument to her forgotten ancestors.