US Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews, 21/8/2018

"...Mawer (Tightrope, 2012, etc.), playing a neat cat-and-mouse game with the reader, gradually turns up the temperature of the novel, shaking us out of our comfort zones with a surge of dark events...

"As the Soviet threat intensifies and Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubcek's bold promise of "socialism with a human face" fades, the characters' personal lives and the past traumas that inform them are put in a new perspective. "What had Lenka and her friends, with their 15 minutes of freedom, imagined would happen?" comments the third-person narrator. "This was reality. The last eight months had been but a dream."

Making a strong return to the Eastern European setting of his acclaimed novel The Glass Room (2009), British author Mawer limns the Cold War to affecting and ultimately chilling effect."

From Publishers Weekly, 1/10/2018

"Mawer is marvelous at historical detail, and danger mounts in a way that keeps the pages turning, but though one of the characters falls victim to the violence and disappears, in the end there are no traitors and no real heroes, nor are any moral choices demanded of those who remain. These are love stories, with plenty of sex, set in extreme circumstances. Though the book careens through some awkward dialogue and uneven character development, there are moments of clarity and beauty that readers will savor."




Simon Mawer 2008 - 2018. This website is written and maintained by the author.