ANJA THE LIAR (Riverhead Books, 2003)
The emotionally stirring wartime tale of an unlikely love - and its slow and vicious undoing.
Anja, frail and anxious, has narrowly survived six years in German-occupied Krakow. How she did it is her ugly secret. She meets Walter Fass -a former Wehrmacht officer with secrets of his own - at the wire of a Displaced Persons camp after war's end. They form a marriage of convenience, each desperately hoping to become someone new. They flee to the Fass family farm at the foot of the Alps, and, scarred as they are, begin to build a life together. But when one of Walter's wartime comrades -a woman he believed long dead in an unmarked grave- appears on their doorstep, the fragile peace of a Polish girl and her ex-soldier begins to unravel.
ANJA THE LIAR is the story of three people who cannot leave the war behind, who carry it inside them, informing their every emotion and action -and the devastating consequences of their uneasy alliance.
WHAT HARRY SAW (Riverhead Books, 2002)
Harry Hull's emotional blindness isn't the only obstacle as he takes tentative steps toward self-knowledge. There's the souvenir he picked up as an Australian soldier in Vietnam: a load of shrapnel that left a side of his body horribly mutilated. There's his stormy but ever-hopeful love affair with Lucy, a woman who routinely turns his sense of self-worth upside down, but who may also be his salvation. And there's the agonizingly slow decline and death of his father.
As Harry searches his understanding of his memories and life, he realizes -too late- that the hard part is not what he saw, but what he failed to see: a chance for redemption that had been right before his eyes all along.
WATER, CARRY ME (Riverhead Books, 2000)
As an orphan growing up in a quiet Irish town, Una Moss had only a vague idea of her family's dark secrets. But when her grandfather and his cronies are suddenly implicated in a plot to run arms for the IRA, Una -now a medical student and falling deeply for a man who may not be what he seems- is dragged into the vicious world of Ireland's sectarian violence. A world in which who you are is determined by where your allegiances lie, a world where political beliefs can cause even lovers and family members to betray each other.
WATER, CARRY ME is about love, trust, and loyalty -and whether the choices we are presented with in life are really ours to make.
THE WORLD I MADE FOR HER (Riverhead Books, 1998)
James Blatchley breathes through tubes, slipping in and out of comas. Nuala is the Irish immigrant nurse who devotedly coaxes him toward survival. The odd synergy of their relationship is both his link to reality and his inspiration to fantasy. And as he fights death, a world of life grows in silence between them.
Through his morphine-clouded vision, his numbed senses, James yet feels Nuala's spirit singing against the metronome of the life-support machines. He carries her in and out of consciousness with him, creating a secret love story in which Nuala is the heroine -though it is a love they both know can never be.
THE MAN IN THE BOX (Riverhead Books, 1997)
In a remote Austrian Alpine village in 1943, Niki Lukasser's father has walled Dr. Robert Weiss -a Jew on the run from Nazi terror- into a secret compartment in the family's barn. The care and feeding of Dr. Weiss fall to Niki and his best friend, a blind girl named Sigi. And, beneath the quiet surface of Sankt Vero, powerful transformations begin.
Niki and Sigi straddle two worlds. In their narrow adolescent one, they are discovering the possibilities of each other. In the secret sharing with Dr. Weiss -a sophisticated, traveled man who tells them stories of his life- they experience a wider world, learn to dream beyond their village, beyond the war. As Niki and Sigi feel the bewildering power of knowing they hold a human life in their hands, the man in the box leads the youngsters toward an understanding of compassion, respect, and the ever-present connection between selflessness and self-interest in ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations.