The story takes place in Hamburg, 1946. We're in the British Occupied Zone and Colonel Lewis Morgan is charged with overseeing the rebuilding of a devastated city and the de-Nazification of its defeated people. He requisitions a fine house on the banks of the Elbe, where he is joined by his grieving wife Rachael and only remaining son Edmund. But rather than force its owners, a German widower and his traumatised daughter, to leave their home, Lewis insists that the two families live together. In this charged and claustrophobic atmosphere enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
'Brook's masterful novel...wrings every drop of feeling out of a gripping human situation, and his vignettes of war-ravaged Hamburg are superb.' The Mail on Sunday.
'Superb...conjuring surprise after surprise as it shows how the forces of politics and history penetrate even the most intimate moments of its characters' emotional lives.' The Guardian
'Brook's fine, moving novel...addresses weighty themes - forgiveness, familial loss - with a light touch ...brings to mind no less a novel than JG Ballard's Empire of the Sun.' The Financial Times
'Brook's profoundly moving...beautifully written novel ponders issues of decency, guilt and forgiveness...the meticulous integrity of his prose builds a narrative of chastened humans turning back from the brink.' The Independent.
'Brook's excellent third novel is a captivating tale of love among the ruins, treachery and vengeance...Brook weaves a number of masterly sub-plots. Surefooted, impressive, The Aftermath does what all good novels should.' Literary Review
'Brook is wonderful at evoking the atmosphere of this forgotten time...with a spareness matched to the harshness of that winter. There is much to think about here...' The Times.
'The Aftermath is a reflective act of compassionate but tough-minded observation. This is a stylish, heart-searching and convincing story that... memorably refashions this period.' The Herald.
'This is a thrilling, sexy, beautiful book.' Peter Florence, Director of Hay Festival.
'Brook has evoked a much-overlooked episode of history where a new order must be established, and trust re-learnt. An extraordinary read.' The Daily Mail.
'The writing of this powerful novel is beautiful, the scene-setting cinematic.' The Sunday Times.
'If history is written by the victors, The Aftermath goes some way towards redressing the balance, making a heartfelt case for the universal nature of humanity.' Sunday Express
'The Aftermath is an entertaining blend of romance, history and suspense, one to which Brook’s style is perfectly suited: it’s sturdy, stripped down with the just the right amount of gnarled beauty poking through the cracks.' Toronto Star