This is a crisply and elegantly written short book, with memorable characters, that takes on big personal and historical themes. Set in the early 1960s in a still-exhausted post-war Britain, it tells the story of a troubled English family whose lives are altered by the arrival of a German au pair. The stoic solidity of the mother, the breezy, handsome charm of the father and the precocious curiosity of the girls are no match for this interloper and the history she represents.
–The Washington Post
In her luminous novel, COLOGNE, Sarah Pleydell explores the ways in
which a young girl’s private sorrows and redemptions mirror the great
historical forces of war and its aftermath. Coming of age just after
World War II, Caroline Whitakker’s family fragments, betrayals
threaten to overwhelm her, and her very life depends on the courage
she can summon in the ruins of her innocence. COLOGNE is subtle,
evocative, and deeply moving, a book that has changed me as only the
finest literature can, and must.
–Joyce Reiser Kornblatt, novelist, THE REASON FOR WINGS, WHITE WATER,