The Scent of Lilacs
Published Sep 2016
203 x 133mm (474 pages)
As he stood and relieved himself against the barn wall, something struck him as not quite right. Then he realised that he couldnít hear the piano and walked across the courtyard towards the farmhouse. At the door, an Asian man in black overalls barged past him with a mutter which might have been an apology, trailing the sour stink of alcohol and sweat. In the hall the air was stale, and staler still in the room with the piano. Sleeping figures in black were sprawled everywhere, the lieutenant in the armchair, collar buttons undone and an empty vodka bottle by his feet. But Sebelev still stood by the piano, bottle in his hand, and the boy still sat at the keyboard. His hands hovered above, moving slowly up and down without touching it. His stared into space, his face a picture of misery. One cheek was bruised, his lower lip was crusted with dried blood. Cheslav noticed a smattering of dark red on the pianoís white keys.
Berlin, 1945. A city in ruins awaits its fate at the hands of a vengeful enemy.
Leonid and Cheslav Barakovski, brothers and comrades in the Red Army, will advance in the battle to take the capital of Nazi Germany and end the war that has consumed Europe for five terrible years. It is Adolf Hitlerís last great stronghold and his only remaining hope.
Tanya Klarkova, a fellow Russian, waits on the other side of the battle line; a woman who has lived with the enemies of her people, and who dreads the arrival of her countrymen. The German boy Walter Schley faces an uncertain future; his young life may end before it has properly begun. And what will happen to John Marlow, an Englishman fighting for a cause his country detests? What part will each play in the desperate struggle for a devastated and bleeding city? What future can they have when the final battle is over?
The Scent of Lilacs is a story of suffering, despair, determination, and hope as the end draws near.
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