The Undertaking, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


A soldier on the Russian Front marries a photograph of a woman he has never met.

Hundreds of miles away in Berlin, the woman marries a photograph of the soldier.

It is a contract of business rather than love. When the newlywed strangers finally meet, however, passion blossoms and they begin to imagine a life together under the bright promise of Nazi Germany.

But as the tide of war turns and Allied enemies come ever closer, the couple find themselves facing the terrible consequences of being ordinary people stained with their small share of an extraordinary guilt...


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This is Magee's first novel. It tells the story of Peter Faber, a German soldier fighting in Russia in WWII who undertakes to marry Katharina Spinell, a woman he has never met. The deal brings him 10 days honeymoon leave from the fighting and guarantees her a widow's pension if he dies. From this simple premise Magee builds a story which shows the desperate situation for those involved in the siege of Stalingrad as well as showing the changes experienced by the Spinells as a result of their relationship with a high ranking Nazi officer. The language is simple but the story is not. This is a novel which shows you the horrors of war from very personal viewpoints. Well worth reading. #AudreyMagee #TheUndertaking

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