In this epic tale of friendship and loss from the author of The Sugar Men, fate pushes childhood friends to opposite sides of a terrible war—but is forgiveness always possible?
Ukraine, 1923. On a small farm, two boys are born within days of each other, both Ukrainian, one Jewish. Mykhail and Asher grow up inseparable, together finding friendship, adventure and escape from the harshness of Russian rule. But after Asher’s family flees to Warsaw, their worlds are torn to shreds by the Second World War.
The war brings cruelty to both boys. Although Asher finds love in Warsaw, the city is far from the haven his family sought; meanwhile Mykhail becomes a victim of the bitter struggle for Ukraine. But worse follows in the shape of the Treblinka death camp. There, both men must obey orders, and both find their morals compromised and their souls tortured.
The inhuman horrors they witness cast long shadows. Many years later, their paths cross once more, and each man must confront the legacy of his actions. When the darkest of secrets can no longer be kept hidden, can their friendship survive the final reckoning?