It’s 1946 and ‘You are Going to Germany’ is the official information booklet that Rachael Morgan and her son Edmund are reading on their crossing to Hamburg with other British service wives and children. There are strict instructions to be ‘cold, correct and dignified’ and not to fraternise with the German people. So when Rachael and Edmond are reunited with Colonel Lewis Morgan they are shocked to find that he has arranged for them to share a grand house with its owner, a German widower and his teenage daughter.
With the destruction of Hamburg around them, the prejudice and hostility of both the British and Germans is tested. There are a number of stories running along, weaving in and out of each other, with a cast of characters clearly showing the different attitudes, sympathies, suspicion and resentment of erstwhile enemies, that (for some) becomes mixed with compassion and a growing understanding.
This was a good read, an interesting setting and well drawn characters that I believed in, and it wasn’t as predictable as I first feared. But I did feel that it was a bit slight, which was a shame because I felt involved in every storyline and wanted them to be given more time and depth. I wanted more, which is a compliment really.
I haven’t seen the film yet, but I’m interested that Rhidian Brook wrote the screenplay either before or alongside the novel, and wonder if the lack of depth, I felt in the novel, isn’t felt as much in the film?