Paul and his friends are having the time of their lives at art school in the 1920s. At the Bauhaus there are extravagant costume parties, and there is an abundance of cocaine. But within his friendship group are many, many secrets: secret love affairs, and notebooks, and codes hidden in lavish paintings. As his best friend Walter begins a relationship with a Nazi officer, and as the glittering era of the Roaring Twenties begins to collapse, these secrets find their way out, and the friends soon become bent on betrayal and revenge.
Imagine an alternative England, where the Church controls the country and non-believers have been exiled to a remote island. On the Island, a fierce group of boys patrols the community, searching for signs of faith and punishing any believers. When a new girl appears, arriving from the mainland to search for her long-lost mother, the gang is split: one boy falls in love with her, another seeks violent revenge. The struggle between them will change everything.
Vibrant and evocative. (Stylist)
The comforts of faith, the terrors of extremism, the loneliness of not believing anything at all: these are the aggressively modern tensions that pierce Wood’s novel . . . richly conceived. (Metro)
A gripping, well-crafted tale . . . impressive. (Observer)
A tender, brutal tale focusing on God, love and violence. (Grazia)