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The Other Hoffmann Sister

The Other Hoffmann Sister

Shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2015, Ben Fergusson’s critically acclaimed debut, The Spring of Kasper Meier, was the winner of the Betty Trask Prize 2015 and the HWA 2015 Debut Crown Award. The Other Hoffmann Sister is a gripping, evocative read about two sisters set in pre-WW1 Germany which will appeal to fans of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

For Ingrid Hoffmann the story of her sister’s disappearance began in their first weeks in Southwest Africa…

Ingrid Hoffmann has always felt responsible for her sister Margarete and when their family moves to German Southwest Africa in 1902, her anxieties only increase. The casual racism that pervades the German community, the strange relationship between her parents and Baron von Ketz, from whom they bought their land, and the tension with the local tribes all culminate in tragedy when Baron von Ketz is savagely murdered. Baroness von Ketz and their son, Emil, flee with the Hoffmanns as the Baron’s attackers burn down the family’s farm.

Both families return to Berlin and Ingrid’s concerns about Margarete are assuaged when she and Emil von Ketz become engaged on the eve of the First World War. But Margarete disappears on her wedding night at the von Ketz’s country house. The mystery of what happened to her sister haunts Ingrid, but as Europe descends into chaos, her hope of discovering the truth becomes ever more distant.

After the war, in the midst of the revolution that brings down the Kaiser and wipes out the aristocracy that her family married into, Ingrid returns to the von Ketzes’ crumbling estate determined to find out what really happened to her sister.

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Adventure / War & Combat Fiction / First World War Fiction

On Sale: 4th May 2017

Price: £8.99

ISBN-13: 9781408708910

Reviews

Taut, subtle, ambitious and engrossing. A gripping story of conflicting loyalties spanning a turbulent and changing world
Imogen Robertson, author of The Paris Winter
A beautiful, compelling read with exquisitely drawn characters. Wonderful
Jason Hewitt, author of Devastation Road
Beguiling, unsettling, and wonderfully atmospheric. A dark expedition across a nightmarish landscape of physical and emotional damage and moral decay
Sarah Waters, praise for The Spring of Kasper Meier
Elegantly crafted and engrossing - Fergusson's The Other Hoffmann Sister is excellent
William Ryan, author of The Constant Soldier
Shortlisted for the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award in 2015, Ben Fergusson was much praised for his first novel, The Spring of Kasper Meier...The Other Hoffmann Sister confirms the talent for atmospheric, morally complex historical fiction that Fergusson showed in his first novel...An engrossing exploration of the ways that secrecy, racism and snobbery take their toll on its finely realised characters'
Sunday Times
[An] atmospheric, morally complex historical novel
Sunday Times Culture 'Must Read'
The evocative setting and the quick-paced plot takes the reader on a whirlwind tour through South Africa, to Berlin and back again, through war and its aftermath, through aristocracy and the von Ketz's crumbling estate. The novel, written by the award-winning author Ben Fergusson, would appeal to fans of Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent.
10 Best Book Club Reads, independent.co.uk
A richly accomplished work with a fascinating central character. And like the best historical novelists, Fergusson combines the ability both to bring the past to life with grippingly immediate vignettes, and use it to illustrate themes such as betrayal, prejudice and the deceptive nature of memory, which remain universal
i
A fascinating look at racism and snobbery. Broken postwar Germany is superbly drawn and events in Africa are horrific
The Times
[A] brilliant, unsettling novel . . . With echoes of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, it explores the darker, unpredictable side of human behaviour . . . this is a wonderfully atmospheric read that keeps you guessing. Highly recommended, and perfect for fans of Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent
The Lady
In this intricately plotted novel, Ben Fergusson takes a little-known slice of history and fashions it into a gripping love story
Mail on Sunday