About the book
Having been wounded on the Russian Front, Martin Hamer, a heroic and principled German officer, is seconded to a labour camp in occupied Poland. Gradually, Hamer finds himself drawn to one of the inmates, Julia Smollen. As the burgeoning relationship between the German officer and the Polish prisoner causes mounting tension in the camp, Hamer’s troubled past is gradually revealed in a series of flashbacks. But, as he’s about to discover, much of his life has been based on a tragic lie. And just as Hamer is forced to reassess and reevaluate his past, he is faced with a heartbreaking choice – and a chance of redemption. A chance which would mean forsaking his rank, reputation and homeland. Is he brave enough to take it?
Reviewed by New Forest – Waterside U3A Theatre and Literature Group:
A very satisfactory read with only two of our group unable to get beyond the first thirty pages. An unresolved antipathy to even considering ‘Germans’ affected several group members. This was overcome by the quality of the writing, the flowing structure of the novel and the steady revelation of Hamer’s character. Not everyone ‘liked’ the novel but everyone who completed the reading admitted being drawn into an admiration of the man, Martin Hamer. We want to read more from Francis Cottam.
Star rating: ****