A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE MONTH
"Moving and unusual.... Catherine Chidgey's novel is a fine achievement." -The Sunday Times
"Immersive, profound, and beautifully plotted." -The Guardian
"One of the most original, brave and profound explorations of the darkest recesses of the human heart I have ever read." - Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
A novel of devastating beauty set in Buchenwald during the Second World War.
Moving away from their lovely apartment in Munich isn't nearly as wrenching an experience for Frau Greta Hahn as she had feared. Their new home is even lovelier than the one they left behind and life in Buchenwald would appear to be idyllic. Lying just beyond the forest that surrounds them is the looming presence of a work camp. Frau Hahn's husband, SS Sturmbannfuhrer Dietrich Hahn, has been assigned as the camp's administrator.
When Frau Hahn's poor health leads her into an unlikely and poignant friendship with one of Buchenwald's prisoners, Dr Lenard Weber, her naive ignorance about what is going on so nearby is challenged. A decade earlier, Dr Weber had invented a machine believed at the time that its subtle resonances might cure cancer. But does it really work? One way or another, it might yet save a life.
A tour de force about the evils of obliviousness, Remote Sympathy compels us to question our continuing and wilful ability to look the other way in a world that is once more in thrall to the idea that everything - even facts, truth and morals - is relative.
"With its multiple registers and complex view of humanity, this marks a vital turn in Holocaust literature." -Publishers' Weekly
NETGALLEY - Top Ten Books of April 2021
SHORTLISTED: Okham New Zealand/Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction