A Desert In Bohemia

A Desert In Bohemia

3.75 (197 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

It is 1945. Somewhere in Central Europe, in the aftermath of violence and confusion, a terrified and bloodstained young woman, Eliska, emerges from the forest to take refuge in an apparently abandoned castle. Soon she is joined by others - the idealistic Jiri, the sinister Slavomir and his partisans, and Count Michael Blansky, who is the castle's ancestral owner. But the war has changed things for ever. In a storm of ideological change, the existing order and the aristocratic heritage of ten generations are brushed aside by the arrival of Communism, and Count Michael must join the flood of refugees if he is to survive. He leaves behind a legacy which will entangle those involved for the next forty years in more ways than they can possibly imagine. As divided post-war Europe unravels around them, they must make what they can of lives buffeted by circumstance. For many, individual freedom is at best problematic. For better or worse, communities are destroyed, families uprooted, and the ties of trust, friendship and duty which bind them together are broken down by the implacably irresolvable forces at work. Told through the eyes of nine characters who live through the forty years between the end of the war and the fall of Communism, A Desert in Bohemia is a complex and enthralling testament to the power and powerlessness of the individual in challenging times.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 127 x 195.58 x 25.4mm | 240.4g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552778761
  • 9780552778763
  • 1,362,669

Review quote

"'Immensely powerful...a broad sweep of a book'" * The Scotsman * "'Sinuously evocative...Masterfully told...Immensely ambitious, yet also immensely moving, A Desert in Bohemia deserves to follow Walsh's last novel, Knowledge of Angels, on to the Booker shortlist'" * Daily Mail * "'A shimmering, fabulous story...Tragic, convincing, moving, this is a novel whose richness, complexity and, ultimately, optimism make the heart" * The Times * "'A moving, gripping, ultimately optimistic, and intensely satisfying novel. Beautifully constructed and written...wonderful'" * Harpers & Queen * "'Structurally and thematically ambitious...serious, yet enchanting'" * Independent on Sunday *show more

Flap copy

From the Booker Prize shortlisted author of "Knowledge of Angels. It is 1945. A group of refugees, from various backgrounds, take shelter in a castle somewhere in Central Europe. The group includes Count Michael Blansky, the castle's ancestral owner. But the war has changed things forever. In a storm of ideological change, the existing order and the aristocratic heritage of ten generations are brushed aside by the arrival of Communism, and Count Michael must join the flood of refugees if he is to survive. Told through the eyes of nine characters who live through the forty years between the end of the war and the fall of Communism, "A Desert in Bohemia is a complex and enthralling testament to the power and powerlessness of the individual in challenging times.show more

About Jill Paton Walsh

Jill Paton Walsh was educated at St Michael's Convent, North Finchley, and at St Anne's College, Oxford. She is the author of several highly praised adult novels: Lapsing, A School For Lovers, Knowledge of Angels, which was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize, Goldengrove Unleaving, The Serpentine Cave and A Desert in Bohemia. She has also won many awards for her children's literature, including the Whitbread Prize, the Universe Prize and the Smarties Award. She has three children and lives in Cambridge.show more

Rating details

197 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 20% (40)
4 42% (83)
3 31% (61)
2 6% (12)
1 1% (1)
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