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As the Second World War draws to a close, Gus Clifton, having been working with the interrogation teams in Germany and out of touch with his family, surprises his sisters at their home. But an even greater shock is the woman he brings home, Krista – the German wife whom he has married secretly in Berlin.
Gus’s sisters can only see the enemy their brother has brought under their roof. And their friend Nella, Gus’s beautiful, loyal fiancée, cannot understand what made Gus change his mind about their marriage. What hold does Krista have over their honourable and upright Gus? And how can the three women get her out of their home, their future, their England?
Selected as an Essential Read for Summer. 'A pageturner with a big heart, suffused with the sadness of the aftermath of war'
'This book tore me up into little pieces, so much so that I thought perhaps I couldn’t bring myself to read the very end, the big reveal of which of the women would end up buried beneath the sycamore, but I did – and I was glad I did, for somehow the ending, while tragic, glued me back together.
This book – this book! Taut, gripping, punch-in-the-stomach powerful. Impossible to close. Haunting. Disturbing. And yet also stirring, a testament to both the fragility and the resilience of the human spirit'
'A truly wonderful writer. Her books are rich with authentic period detail and her characters are vivid and intensely believable - I love this book'
'Skill and elegance… no one writes a cliffhanger scene like Buchan'
'A gripping, immensely satisfying read'
'Compelling... Buchan brilliantly captures the blighted atmosphere of blitzed London and bomb-destroyed Berlin, is equally good on the emotional fall-out'
'The writing is beautifully fluent, moving from scene to scene, peeling away the layers of English formality in a way that demonstrates a deft and invisible authorial control. Buchan has a gift for understanding the complexity and ambiguity of human emotions and also for creating a quiet and sinister tension, which gives the sense, as the narrative passes through the heads of its damaged characters, that everything is slipping inevitably towards catastrophe.
The New Mrs Clifton is a captivating and gripping read that seduces utterly, until its final page, leaving a deep imprint on the imagination long after.'
Elizabeth Freemantle, History Girls
'The tension is palpable and the atmosphere claustrophobic. Buchan vividly conveys the dispirited mood of a post-war London brought to its knees, and her depiction of the horrors of wartime Berlin is equally compelling. A powerful and emotional read'
The Sunday Express