In 1947, a sixteen-year-old German orphan, Stefan Landau, comes to live with his aunt’s family in England. Elisabeth does not know what to make of her sister’s son – this dirty, traumatized boy in his shabby Hitler Youth uniform.
For among Stefan’s meagre possessions is a portrait of a girl with long copper hair by a painter called Michael Ross. A portrait that brings back memories, both painful and precious, of Elisabeth’s life in the years before the war… Spanning decades and generations, THE GERMAN BOY is the moving story of two families entangled by love and friendship, divided by prejudice and war, and of a brief encounter between a man and a woman that touched each of their lives forever.
"A sophisticated and subtly woven story of two families: betrayal and survival, thwarted passion and unswerving devotion. Wastvedt has created characters you feel you know... The period detail is so meticulously accumulated and lyrically described that you can smell the brandy and vanilla-infused coffee in pre-war Germany and feel the smooth butt of the rifle the traumatised German boy has brought to England." - Daily Mail
"Like a sheet of wrap from Past Times or a penpal’s treasured scrap book, a rich collage of Jungvolklighting campfires, ration books, photos and letters in German and English hand adorns the inside cover. Beautifully packaged with contents to match." - For Books’ Sake
"A readable and dramatic scoot through the first half of the 20th century, trailing wounded lives [and] ugly secrets." - The Guardian