Like most gentiles in Nazi-occupied Paris, architect Lucien Bernard has little empathy for the Jews. So when a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews, Lucien struggles with the choice of risking his life for a cause he doesn't really believe in. Ultimately he can't resist the challenge and begins designing expertly concealed hiding spaces - behind a painting, within a column, or inside a drainpipe - detecting possibilities invisible to the average eye. But when one of his clever hiding spaces fails horribly and the immense suffering of Jews becomes incredibly personal, he can no longer deny reality.
Written by an expert whose knowledge imbues every word, this story becomes more gripping with every life the architect tries to save.
"Words like "riveting" and "compelling" aren't strong enough to describe this remarkable novel narrated by Mark Bramhall and set in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1942." (AudioFile)
"A beautiful and elegant account of an ordinary man's unexpected and reluctant descent into heroism during the second world war." (Malcolm Gladwell)
"Belfoure writes like an up-and-coming Ken Follett ... There's plenty of detail to interest architecture buffs, too." (Booklist)
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Brilliant and heart breaking
Yes - it's harrowing and moving but very clever and beautiful too
All characters were beautifully written and read - there wasn't a weak link
Thank goodness I didn't try to read the book - I would have been torn between covering my eyes and being desperate to read on! Lovely, gentle paced book, beautifully written and read.
- Sheila OSullivan