A Beautiful Couple (Ein schönes Paar)
250pp (58,000 words)
They’re a beautiful couple: Georg, a young soldier, and Herta, a seamstress at a fashion house who dreams of a future as a model. After a chance encounter turns into love, the two marry in 1942 and after the war settle into an unexceptional life with their small son Philipp in the newly formed East German state.
One day, however, Georg comes into contact with the West German authorities, who try to recruit him as an informant. When a tell-tale letter arrives from the West, he flees to West Germany, terrified of being arrested. There he finds a job in a textile factory, Herta and Philipp follow him, and the little family begins a new life. But then Georg is accused of stealing money from the company accounts. His marriage to Herta collapses. Herta vanishes completely from the lives of her husband and son for many years, leaving Philipp with nothing but a few postcards – with no return address – to remind him of his mother.
Years later, when Philipp has grown up, he sets out on a journey into the past – a journey that leads him towards a remarkable discovery.
A gripping novel about flight, love and ephemerality of life, set against the backdrop of East and West Germany.
»The David Lynch among German novelists.«