Caging Skies

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Random House New Zealand, 2008 - Jewish children in the Holocaust - 443 pages
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A gripping, atmospheric novel about obsession and love. 'Little by little, Elsa leaked out of her enclosure, strayed out into every corner of the house . . . In my bed at night, she switched places with me, she enjoying the softness of my bed, and I finding myself cramped up in her airless niche.' This extraordinary novel is seen through the eyes of Johannes. An avid member of the Hitler Youth in the 1940s, he discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl called Elsa behind a false wall in their large house in Vienna. His initial horror turns to interest, then love and obsession. After the disappearance of his parents, Johannes finds he is the only one aware of Elsa's existence in the house, the only one responsible for her survival. Both manipulating and manipulated, Johannes dreads the end of the war: with it will come the prospect of losing Elsa and their relationship, which ranges through passion and obsession, dependence and indifference, love and hate. This gripping, masterful work examines truth and lies at both political and personal levels, laying bare the darkest corners of the human soul.

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About the author (2008)

Originally Belgian and American, Christine moved to France at a young age and became a top international model, the face of Givenchy, Paco Rabanne, Nina Ricci, Mercedes Benz and House of Fraser. She has a Masters Degree in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University. Her first novel, Primordial Soup (1999) published in the UK was described by the Sunday Times as 'a remarkable debut novel'. An earlier version of Caging Skies has been published in Spanish, Catalan, Italian and French, and the latter edition was shortlisted for the Prix M dicis and the Prix FNAC awards. Christine and her family now live in New Zealand where she is working on her third novel.

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