Many thanks to Mumsnet Books for a free copy of this book.
I do like Rose Tremains’s writing and it’s been a while since I last read one of her books, so a delight to rediscover her again with this book. Her prose is wonderful and this was an engaging and educational tale (for me at least!) about family, love and friendship in Switzerland in the pre and post-war era. I’d never really considered some of the implications of the Swiss position – especially on the lives of ordinary people. However I have to admit that I found this to be a book of two halves – the story of Gustav’s childhood was very interesting but I found the later descriptions of his middle-aged life rather dull and disappointing. I had rather hoped for more for Gustav! The ending, when it came, was unsurprising really and had been suitably signposted along the way for the more alert reader.
That said, I still enjoyed it and would recommend.