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The Aftermath

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  8,469 ratings  ·  1,038 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 May 2nd 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.…moreI'm not sure if the book ever says his age but he seemed to be in his late forties early fifties.(less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  8,469 ratings  ·  1,038 reviews

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Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great novel indeed!


I have history with this book...

...since I knew about it since almost it was published and even I bought it...

...but as many of us, readers, happens, we put the book in a box...

...and later you forgets that you have to read it!

When I found out that this book was adapted into a film (soon to be released), I ran to look out for the book...

...and finally read it!

Yep, it was a great reading indeed!

Hamburg, 1946. The Allied forces (USA, England and
Kimberly Coyle
Feb 28, 2013 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
From the blurb:
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 force its owners, a German widower and his traumatized daughter, to leave their home, Lewis insists that th
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
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
“Rachel could find no solace in other people’s tales of woe. Pain was uniquely one’s own, and undiminished by a democracy of suffering”

Meticulous writing, language wise. The story? Not so much.

It would have been so much better, in my opinion, if the focus was on the two main families. When it started to petter out to other sub-plots, the book lost me.
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
Andrew Robins
Aug 24, 2014 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
Roger Brunyate
Jul 11, 2016 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
Apr 08, 2016 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
This book was a bitter disappointment. I expected this to be so much better than it was, and now I'm sitting here happy that I've finished it, so I can move the hell on!

The plot is weak. I knew what was going to happen, before I got halfway through, and for me, that is never a good thing. Nothing remotely exciting happens, there is a distinct dreary tone, and I was wondering, what is the point of this book? What was it trying to achieve? Apparently, not much.

The characters were so thinly descri
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I want to watch The Aftermath the movie, so of course, I started by reading the book. And, I must say that I quite enjoyed this story about a British family moving into a house with a German widower and his daughter after WW2. Both families have lost much during the war and now they have to live under the same roof. The ending felt a bit abrupt, but I quite enjoyed the writing and the story. Now I'm ready for the movie! ...more
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
Maine Colonial
Sep 09, 2013 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
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
Paul E. Morph
Aug 07, 2015 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
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
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was fortunate to win this book from GoodReads. I really enjoyed reading it. The time and setting -- Germany immediately after WWII -- were very interesting. I also really enjoyed the writing, which at times was quirky -- rather than pretentious -- in the use of occasional rarely used words. Mostly, I liked how the author easily conveyed the nuanced internal lives of the disparate but interconnected characters.
Sep 24, 2013 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
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars
I really "loved" this book. I’ve read some books on WWII but never about the years right after the war ended. It’s sad to realize that all the misery and hate just continued on and on, just in a "different" way. Psychological experiments have been conducted on the effects of power on human behaviour. But do we need these experiments when we have real life based experiences like these.
Reading this book evoked a wide array of emotions, its characters, their pasts, their presents, their act
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Imen  Benyoub
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I must say that I never read a book about post war Germany, and from what I read in the Aftermath, which was inspired by real events and stories told by the author's grandfather and grand-oncle (requisitioning a German house)..the situation was extremely difficult..

A devided country in ruins, starving people, bodies still under the rubble, lack of basic everyday essentials, work and shelter, in this novel, the story was set in the city of Hamburg, a part of the British zone, badly bombed and dam
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
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
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
"She could find no solace in other people's tales of woe. Pain was uniquely one's own, and undiminished by a democracy of suffering"

The Aftermath is an historical novel that tells the story of the Morgans, an english family that has to move to Hamburg after World War II and live into a german house now part of the British occupied zone.
Colonel Lewis could just force the former owners to leave the house, but he shows compassion and insists that the two dramatically different families live togeth
I think the premise of this book was so creative--when an English officer gets a grand German villa requisitioned for his family's use during the rebuilding of Hamburg after WWII, he invites the current family to stay in the attic apartment. Without that gesture they will be sent to camps to live so it's more generous than it seems...but only a few months earlier they were enemies dropping countless bombs on each other losing family members. Could you really live in a house together and be secur ...more
More of a 3.5... a good read but didn’t wow me. I’m very curious to see the movie, though. I had a hard time really connecting with any of the characters that much.. I’m hoping the film will offer more empathy.

I didn’t really fully understand the inclusion of the young orphan boys.. that side plot really didn’t require as much explanation and narrative as it got. I would’ve preferred reading more about Rachel, Lewis and Stefan. But an interesting and sweet story, if a little jumpy between chara
Nicole Patterson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Foster
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Would have been a 4 star read but the abrupt ending left me unsatisfied... Interesting bit of post-war history I knew little about, with characters I really felt for. But there was something about the pacing was a bit off. This is something I’ve not said before.... but after seeing the movie trailer, I think this may make a better movie than book. Which could be because the author also writes often for the screen...
Katy Kelly
Apr 24, 2013 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
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kobo
I thought this was an interesting read and offered some insights into post-war Germany.
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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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