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The Aftermath

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  3,269 Ratings  ·  547 Reviews
Hamburg, 1946. Thousands remain displaced in what is now the British Occupied Zone. Charged with overseeing the rebuilding of this devastated city and the de-Nazification of its defeated people, Colonel Lewis Morgan is requisitioned a fine house on the banks of the Elbe, where he will be joined by his grieving wife, Rachael, and only remaining son, Edmund.
But rather than
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Random House Canada (first published 2013)
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Dawn I'm not sure if the book ever says his age but he seemed to be in his late forties early fifties.

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Kimberly Coyle
Feb 28, 2013 Kimberly Coyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of historical fiction, I knew this book wouldn’t have to work hard to win me over. However, I didn’t know how easily the characters would draw me into their lives--into a world of motherless children and childless mothers, a world trying to live again amongst the rubble of broken buildings, bodies, and spirits. Brook gets every nuance of grief just right, without sentimentality, but with hard truths. He shows us how life is born from death, and how the broken seek and ultimately find a ...more
It is not good when you start a book and don't believe in the feasibility of the characters' first actions. These actions didn't fit the characters' personalities. Once this feeling was lodged in my head I could never throw it off. The characters, their relationships and their actions were not credible.

This is a book of historical fiction that depicts the first years after WW2 in Germany. The setting is Hamburg and the year is 1946. What saved me from giving the book only one star is the accura
Jul 29, 2013 Orsolya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the horrors of WWII, the Holocaust, and concentration camps; little attention is given to the reconstruction of Germany (the country and its civilians) after the war. This is precisely the focus of Rhidian Brook’s novel, “The Aftermath”.

“The Aftermath” tells the story of Colonel Lewis Morgan, his wife Rachel and son Edmund, who are requisitioned into the home of German father Stefan Lubert and his daughter, Freda. Instead of displacing the family, the kindly Colonel decides the house is big
Trish at Between My Lines
Rating 2.5 stars.

The Aftermath is set after WW2 in Germany. Captain Lewis from the UK is overseeing the rebuilding of a war-torn, bomb-shocked Hamburg. He resides in a manor house on the city outskirts with his wife Rachel and son Edmund. However he makes the unusual decision not to dehouse the German family who currently live there and both families must somehow find a way to put aside their personal feelings and old grievances and live together.

If I were to break up with this book, I would say
Apr 08, 2016 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I really did not think I could write a review. The topic of this book just hit too close to home. And even now, after the silver lining at the end, there is a certain heaviness on my chest.

This book is about a British Colonel, his wife and son who go to live in Hamburg, Germany, because the Colonel is in charge of rebuilding the city after WWII.
Colonel Lewis Morgan is a kind man. Not really good at expressing his emotions (which nearly drove me up the walls) but he believes in humanity
Roger Brunyate
Jul 11, 2016 Roger Brunyate rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww2
Soon to be a Major Motion Picture

"Soon to be a major motion picture" proudly proclaims the book jacket. And I am not surprised. Rhidian Brook's novel has well-developed characters, ample romance and danger, an important historical context, and significant moral issues. The only major movie challenge would be to capture the devastation of Hamburg in 1946, the city still shattered by the 1943 fire bombings. Brook writes well, easily shifting between different settings and points of view. A bit too
Aug 07, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set immediately after the end of World War II, ‘The Aftermath’ by Rhidian Brook tells the story of a Welsh Colonel, Lewis Morgan, who brings his family to Hamburg while he works on the nigh on impossible task of providing humanitarian aid to the Germans while clearing and repairing the damage caused to their country. Allocated a large house by the military, Brook makes the unprecedented decision to allow the family whose house it is to continue living there alongside his own, rather than sending ...more
I haven't read a book set during the reconstruction after WWII, it was an interesting period and this novel has an equally interesting set up. Colonel Lewis Morgan, stationed in Hamburg in 1946, has opted to share his requisitioned housing with the actual owners of the property rather than needlessly forcing the German family into a Displace Persons Camp.

The highly unusual situation makes a great spring board for Rhidian Brook's story, I love that the inspiration for this novel was Brook's gran
Tanya Nekrasova
Jan 09, 2016 Tanya Nekrasova rated it it was amazing
Куда легче разрушать, чем строить: город, поднимавшийся тысячу лет, можно стереть с лица земли за день; жизнь человека – оборвать в долю секунды.

Ридиан Брукс «После войны».

Хочу признаться в безграничной любви к серии книг Vintage story ♥ Пять книг прочитано и все они прочитаны на одном дыханием. Потрясающие истории.

Место действий «После войны» - разрушенный Гамбург, голод, мор, безработица. Британский офицер Льюис Морган, временно назначенный губернатором Гамбурга, вместе семьей перебирается в
I very rarely do this but i am less than half way though and the story for me is dragging and the characters are mediocre. After all the positive reviews I have seen about this book I thought I would be hooked but sadly that's not been the case. So I have decided to stop reading it for now and perhaps try again in the future. To all of those people that really want to read this, I recommend that you should as you may find it a great read from the beginning.
Maine Colonial
Sep 09, 2013 Maine Colonial rated it it was ok
World War II, which historian Max Hastings called "the greatest and most terrible event in human history," will never fail to be a subject that fascinates historians, novelists and readers. Lately, though, it seems that the immediate aftermath of the war has caught writers' interest. Just off the top of my head, I can think of these books: Tony Judt's Postwar, William I. Hitchcock's The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe, Ian Buruma's Year Zero: A History of 1945, ...more
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
The year is 1946, and the setting is a country that has been destroyed, where we are taken to a city that lies in ruins, and introduced to a people, many of whom have been displaced and are hungry. This is Hamburg, Germany and this is the scene of this remarkable novel. Colonel Lewis Morgan is entrusted with the role of overseeing the rebuilding of Hamburg in the British Occupied Zone of the newly carved up post World War II Germany, and with the de-Nazification of the people. His wife Rachael a ...more
Anthony Strzalek
I have never found a book that I wasn’t able to put down before but this exciting and dramatic novel came pretty close to changing that.

Set in 1946 during the British de-Nazification program, The Aftermath is a wonderfully written heart-warming yet tragic tale about a British officer and his family living alongside their German counterparts in the latter’s Hamburg home.

A British officer, Colonel Lewis Smith, distanced from his wife by the death of their son and sympathetic to a defeated German
Katy Noyes
Apr 24, 2013 Katy Noyes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Review of a Goodreads First Reads copy.

This sounded promising - a huge bidding war, already actioned to be made into a major film.

And it gripped. It really did. Telling the story of post-war Germany, a piece of history I realised I hadn't thought much about (not the concentration camp victims, not the bombed Londoners, but the starving, decimated German people), we follow Colonel Lewis Morgan who has been given a house in 1946 for his family. He offers to continue to share it with the previous G
Mar 04, 2013 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel isn't long enough - that's the best compliment that can ever be paid to a book. The history, and the notion of the history that followed the history, set against the cinematic coldness of North Germany in the grip of a famously bitter winter, invites the reader straight in to look for a beginning, a reason, a warm hearth. Against this backdrop, the pleasure comes from attuning to the swell and retreat of Lewis', Rachael's and Lubert's emotions, heightened as they are by the unique cir ...more
Andrew Robins
Aug 24, 2014 Andrew Robins rated it liked it
Warning - contains mild spoilers!

I ummed and aahed about what rating to give this. I settled on 2.5 stars, then remembered you can't do half stars, so ummed and aahed a bit more and opted to round up to three stars.

This book was a bit odd for me. I love history, particularly World War Two and after. I also love historical fiction. This book seemed to tick both those boxes for me, so I was sure I'd really like it.

And that is the strange thing. I did like lots of things about it. He's a good write
Ian Bright
Sep 14, 2013 Ian Bright rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book. It can be read on several levels.

On one level it is a story, told well, that can be read at ease while commuting or relaxing. But as you read, you notice the author likes to play with words. Turns of phrase make you smile and words not often used are placed carefully to finesse a scene. At times you may be tempted to stop and refer to a dictionary to ensure you have the precise definition but you may also choose to go with the flow and simply enjoy the craft of a wordsmit
Dec 16, 2015 AdiTurbo rated it really liked it
World War II has just ended, but the different Ally armies are still around, trying to help Germany recover. They bring in their families from their home countries, and prepare for a long stay by taking over German houses and driving the families that own them out of them. But one British colonel who is offered such a house for himself, his wife and young son, is not very happy to drive the German family that owns it out. Instead, he lets them stay in the upper floor of the house, claiming that ...more
Brian Francis
Apr 30, 2013 Brian Francis rated it really liked it
Sometimes, books reflect our own experiences. And, at other times, books act as doorframes into circumstances that we might not have considered before. The Aftermath shines a spotlight on what Germany was like following the end of second World War, specifically what happens when a British family moves into the home of a German architect and his daughter. The novel is many things – part history, romance and psychological thriller – but for me, its greatest strength was delving into a period of hi ...more
Colleen Turner
I reviewed this book for

I am always intrigued to discover the inspirations that lead an author to write a book. It seems there are nearly unlimited sources to draw from – conversations, research, accidental occurrences – but my favorites happen to be personal experiences and family history. When I decided to read The Aftermath I had no idea the author drew on his grandfather’s experiences in war torn Germany after World War II or even the complicated dynamics men like his
Apr 14, 2013 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘When the battle’s lost and won…’
The setting is post-WW2 Hamburg, a city destroyed by the Allied forces, where the inhabitants are not only struggling with poverty and homelessness, but are also trying to come to terms with the horrors they have lived through. Colonel Lewis Morgan of the occupying British forces is expecting the arrival of his wife and son and has been allocated a requisitioned house on the banks of the Elbe. But Morgan feels guilty about taking the home from its owner so, desp
Tempo de Ler
Mar 03, 2014 Tempo de Ler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O Despertar do Mundo leva-nos até à devastada Alemanha de 1945, um ano após o final da Segunda Guerra Mundial e bem perto da eclosão da Guerra Fria. O interessantíssimo período histórico já seria o suficiente para nos despertar a curiosidade, mas Rhidian Brook eleva a fasquia ao optar por contar a sua história através da rara perspectiva de quem perdeu…se é que houveram realmente vencedores...

Fraccionada em quatro zonas divididas pela França, Reino Unido, Rússia e EUA, a Alemanha é vasculhada em
Feb 27, 2013 Chloe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished reading Aftermath - and I absolutely loved it!!!!

It was thoroughly engaging - so after I finally managed to make time to read it, I found I couldn't stop. I kept looking forward to train journeys and breaks at work so I could continue - which is always the mark of something good.

The concept is immediately intriguing, a British Officer after World War 2 is sent to live in a requisitioned German family's house. It is far grander than anything he or his family is used to, and i
Sep 24, 2013 Jeanette rated it it was amazing
This made my top 5 reads in all genres for 2013.

We are in Hamburg, Germany in the year 1946- turning to 1947. A British contingent of officers are being put into German homes that are still standing on the River Elbe and having their wives join them. Some for the first time in many years. And this particular couple will share a large manor with the German owner and his daughter.

The writing is basically full boat outstanding. The plot mesmerizing and the attractions and dynamics mind searing. Af
Robert Intriago
After WW I the Allies punished the Germans and did not help them rebuild. Some historians believe this led to WW II, specially Churchill. This book deals with an English Colonel and his family sent to Hamburg to assist in the reconstruction of a defeated Germany after WW II. The Colonel, Lewis Morgan, truly believes that it his duty to do the best he can in assisting the locals rebuild. He encounters opposition from within the military, his spouse and some Germans. This book deals with those str ...more
Jun 15, 2013 Mohawkgrl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a historical novel about the reconstruction of Germany after the second world war in the year 1946, in which British military have requisitioned many houses and the German civilians are reduced to clearing rubble of in the city of Hamburg.

The story itself was quite interesting and I was easily drawn into the lives of the characters. We meet two families, one German and one British, and a host of secondary characters who struggle to make sense of what is left after the war. It was an int
This was a really good book that took place in 1946 during the reconstruction of Germany (Hamburg, specifically). A British officer and his family move into a beautiful home requisitioned from a German family, and the officer invites the Germans to stay in their home, rather than relocate as would normally have been the case. There are tensions between the British officer's wife, who is still mourning a son who was killed during a bombing in England, and with the German homeowner's teenaged daug ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure abTout this book for a while, then I got into it and found I really enjoyed it. The post WW2 reconstruction period is a new 'war story' storyline, so all elements of that part of the book engaged me. The characters were well done - the innocent child, the angry motherless teenager, the bereft wife and mother, the battle scarred and war weary husband and the mourning husband, the homeless children, the double standards Int intelligence Officer, the tag along wives looking for meanin ...more
Carol Kosse
Mar 14, 2013 Carol Kosse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in post WW2 Germany during the occupation, a British officer and his family move into a German house without first evicting the occupants - an extraordinary and life-changing decision.

The Aftermath has everything one wants in a book -- an interesting setting and premise, an intriguing plot and exceptionally well drawn characters. The pages nearly turn themselves. On this level, alone, I would recommend it. But...what really sets The Aftermath apart for me is its superb exploration of a them
Renita D'Silva
Apr 03, 2015 Renita D'Silva rated it really liked it
Loved this amazing, wonderfully written book about a British family living with a German one in the aftermath of the war. Love the way the author portrayed each person's emotions, their sensitivities about consorting with the 'enemy' and the gentle realization that slowly dawns that the enemy is really just human beings trying to pick up the pieces after the worst has happened. Absolutely loved little Ed and felt for Lewis. A beautiful book.
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Rhidian Brook (born 1964) is a novelist, screenwriter and broadcaster.

His first novel, The Testimony Of Taliesin Jones (Harper Collins) won three prizes, including the 1997 Somerset Maugham Award, and was made into a film starring Jonathan Pryce. His second novel, Jesus And The Adman (Harper Collins) was published in 1999. His third novel, The Aftermath, was published in April 2013 by Penguin UK,
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“The mind remembers what the soul can bear.” 12 likes
“Rachael could find no solace in other people's tales of woe. Pain was uniquely one's own, and undiminished by a democracy of suffering.” 5 likes
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