World War II haunts the lives and loves of three people, on three continents, in this novel by an author who "writes with wisdom and courage" (Ursula Hegi, author of Stones from the River).
Oscar is a mysterious Englishman who presides over Ellis Park, a sprawling mansion on Long Island's North Shore. It is 1951; as the jazz bands play and the ever-present houseguests waft into the ballroom, the war seems much further away than a mere six years. But Oscar is tormented by his own questionable wartime dealings--and embroiled in a drama involving late-night meetings with an official, with whom he speaks German. He is also haunted by memories of Christine, his great love, who sailed to Shanghai after the war. He has no idea of the murky moral depths into which she has fallen.
Marilyn, meanwhile, has moved in to Ellis Park for the summer, and is working on a book of her wartime photography. She reminds Oscar of Christine--and he finds refuge late at night sitting beside her in the pristine photographic studio he built in a basement area, deep beneath the sumptuous, brightly lit rooms above. But he suspects that Marilyn has a secret, and this suspenseful literary page-turner unfolds through the point of view of all three characters, spanning three continents, telling a story of beliefs and self-deceptions, and the ways our lives are shaped by both history and art.
"In the years following WWII, the horrors of that war reverberate in the lives of the intertwined characters in [this] story of guilt, mistaken identity, and love . . . Nayman's saga delves deeply into how even those not directly affected are forever changed by war." --Booklist
"A marvelous book that sweeps across decades and around the world to reveal dark secrets locked tight within the human heart." --Jed Horne, author of Breach of Faith