The Spy Game: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

Don't miss Georgina Harding's newest novel "The Painter of Silence" available in September, 2012.

It is 1961, and the world is in black and white. Eight-year-old Anna watches the Cold War unfold on her television set and builds precarious houses of cards on the sitting-room carpet. Her older brother Peter glues together German bombers and hangs them from his bedroom ceiling, while their mother brightly bosses...
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The Spy Game: A Novel

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Overview

Don't miss Georgina Harding's newest novel "The Painter of Silence" available in September, 2012.

It is 1961, and the world is in black and white. Eight-year-old Anna watches the Cold War unfold on her television set and builds precarious houses of cards on the sitting-room carpet. Her older brother Peter glues together German bombers and hangs them from his bedroom ceiling, while their mother brightly bosses him to go outside to play.
Then, one stingingly cold morning made indistinct by the freezing fog, the world changes. A kiss that barely touches Anna's cheek, a rumble of exhaust and a blurred wave through an icy windscreen, and her mother is gone. Anna and Peter do not attend the funeral. Their father, ever evasive, remains gentle but distant, absorbed always in quietly tending his garden, burying his grief.
Life returns to normal: Anna goes to school, practises her scales, doesn't ask questions. But Peter will not let go of a fierce conviction that Karoline is still alive. Fascinated by the daily tales of espionage in the newspapers, he constructs a theory that their mother, German by birth, was a spy working under the cover of perfect post-war domesticity. And as Anna examines her mother's image, a blandly pretty studio portrait of post-war New Look woman, the many possibilities of who she might have been refract and scatter like coloured light through glass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608191475
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 669,061
  • File size: 454 KB

Meet the Author

Georgina Harding is the author of three novels: The Solitude of Thomas Cave, The Spy Game and, most recently, Painter of Silence, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012. Her first book was a word of non-fiction, In Another Europe, recording a journey she made across Romania in 1988 during the worst times of the Ceausescu regime. It was followed by Tranquebar: A Season in South India, which documented the lives of the people in a small fishing village on the Coromandel coast. Georgina Harding lives in London and on a farm in the Stour Valley, Essex.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Readers will relish THE SPY GAME

    In 1961 in London, Hilda Beatrice Palmer, wife of Lieutenant Colonel C.H. Palmer and mother of Anna and Peter, dies in a car accident. However, neither the eight year old little girl nor her older brother believe that is the truth especially with the news of the Krogers' espionage case. Brainstorming, the two children conclude their mom is a Soviet spy. They know their mom was German though born in Russia and met their English dad in Berlin just after the war.

    The pair begins to investigate the neighbors for suspicious behavior that will validate their theory. They look suspiciously at a family friend who was incarcerated in a Japanese POW prison and the suicide of the German piano teacher. Then there is their father's clandestine work during the war that each wonders if that might be a factor. Decades later Anna remains fixated with a deep gut need to understand her mom so she heads to Berlin and Konigsberg, Russia seeking the truth.

    Rotating perspective between the past and present with a greater emphasis on the former, readers will enjoy this deep look at the need for causal closure especially with the loss of a loved one in what is an inconsequential accident to everyone except her loved ones. Peter, Anna and their dad come across as fully developed people especially the kids with their maternal obsession; mom also seems real though seen through the rose colored eyes of her children. Readers will relish THE SPY GAME while pondering whether Hilda was a spy who returned to the cold of Soviet Russia or just a mom who died just after saying goodbye to her daughter on a foggy day.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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