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Robert Junior never knew the father he was named for, an American G.I. who was captured during the Battle of the Bulge and fell briefly into the arms of a Belgian nurse.

Growing up with his mother in the lush forests of the Ardennes, Robert turns for guidance to his godfather, Markus Hebel, a Belgian who served in the German army in Russia.

Breaking the silence around his painful past, Markus speaks of the consequences and madness of war – of the son he lost at Stalingrad and the courage of the men who tried to free the trapped German soldiers with a desperate charge across the frozen steppe.

In so doing, Markus reveals a secret he has kept since the war, and a doubt that has gnawed at him for twenty years. Did he, a lowly radio operator, waste a chance to save an entire army from annihilation?

Reviews

With its mix of vivid characters, real and fictional, struggling to make sense of the excesses of war and its aftermath, this is a strange but compelling novel. I highly recommend it
Rupert Godsal, Country Life
An iconic Norwegian writer
Boyd Tonkin, Independent
A great European novel
Terje Eidsvåg, Adresseavisen
You cannot put this book down
Kjell Olaf Jensen,, Dagsavisen