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The Wish Child

Fiction: Literary, Historical
Unabridged   9.25 hour(s)
Publication date: 10/02/2018

Winner of the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize

The Wish Child

A Novel

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684416349
Digital Download ISBN:9781684416356


This internationally bestselling historical novel follows two children and a mysterious narrator as they navigate the falsehoods and wreckage of World War II Germany.

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Product Description

This internationally bestselling historical novel follows two children and a mysterious narrator as they navigate the falsehoods and wreckage of World War II Germany

Germany, 1939. Two children watch as their parents become immersed in the puzzling mechanisms of power. Sieglinde lives in the affluent ignorance of middle-class Berlin, her father a censor who excises prohibited words ("promise," "love," "mercy") from books. Erich is an only child living a lush rural life near Leipzig, tending beehives, aware that he is shadowed by strange, unanswered questions.

Drawn together as Germany's hope for a glorious future begins to collapse, the children find temporary refuge in an abandoned theater amid the rubble of Berlin. Outside, white bedsheets hang from windows; all over the city people are talking of surrender. The days Sieglinde and Erich spend together will shape the rest of their lives.

Watching over them is the wish child, the enigmatic narrator of their story. He sees what they see, he feels what they feel, yet his is a voice that comes from deep inside the ruins of a nation's dream.


“Vance brings his considerable skills of narration to this complex tale of the horror of war as experienced by everyday people. He manages to convey every nuance of emotion in both adult and child characters, giving each a unique voice while briskly recounting events as the war grinds to its ignoble end.” —Booklist Audio

“A remarkable book with a stunningly original twist.” —The Times, London

"Chidgey's understated and poetic revelations of the banalities of day-to-day life under siege, as the German war effort fails, communicate the corrosive horrors of war . . . Chidgey's controlled revelation of the identity of her shadowy narrator gradually illuminates the true horrors endured by the rest of the characters in this devastating work." ―Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

"Fiction based on fact can bring to life a place and time as no mere history can―in this case, Germany from 1939 to 1997, concentrating on the war years . . . This beautifully written, vivid picture of one of the darkest times in human history, already an international best-seller, also may serve as a cautionary tale for today." ―Booklist Starred Review

"The contrast of voices provides a detailed portrait of Siggi and Erich’s fractured lives. Fans of The Book Thief will enjoy Chidgey’s delicate and elegant novel." ―Publishers Weekly

Author Bio

Catherine Chidgey's debut novel, In a Fishbone Church, won the Betty Trask Prize, Best First Book in the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (South East Asia and Pacific Region), and was long-listed for the Orange Prize. Her second novel, The Strength of the Sun, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.