A “deeply impressive . . . devastating but quite stunning” novel about doomed love and ambition in Nazi Germany (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
Set during World War II amid the trenches of the eastern front and the turmoil of Berlin under the Third Reich, The Undertaking intertwines the lives of two German strangers entering into a proxy marriage of convenience, self-interest, and of ideology.
Peter Faber is a soldier desperate to escape the madness of war if only by a three-week honeymoon leave. His new wife is Katharine Spinell, a resourceful young woman from Berlin who anticipates the likelihood of a widow’s pension should Peter die in battle. When they finally meet there is an attraction as unexpected as it is intense. But as Peter returns to Stalingrad, and as Katherine ruthlessly works her way into Nazi high society, the tides of war change. So do Peter and Katharine’s fates and fortunes, in this “bold, honest novel about Nazi greed and moral blankness . . . and the small people who are inseparably part of a great ravagement” (The Guardian).
Finalist for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, The Undertaking is “one of the most riveting accounts of love in time of war that this reviewer has ever read” (Library Journal (starred review)—“a violent, elegant, unsentimental journey through hell and halfway back” (Chris Cleave, New York Times–bestselling author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven).