by Audrey Magee (Atlantic Books)
Audrey Magee has worked as a journalist for 12 years yet two incidents, twenty years apart, were the catalyst for her to write her debut novel, The Undertaking. The first occurred on a visit to Dachau in Germany when she was just 21 and the second incident some 20 years later after a chance encounter with a German man in West Cork who owned a restaurant she was visiting.
The story follows the lives of two Germans, Peter, a young German soldier during World War II and Katherina, who get married to secure him honeymoon leave from a horrific and raging battle and a widow’s pension for her should he be killed in action. The story follows their lives during and after the war and examines the impact which the Second World War had on ordinary Germans.