The book is set after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the USSR, and uses thirteen different characters to form an ‘orchestra of voices’, each one exploring the concept of Jewish identity against the backdrop of a changed and uncertain Berlin. The characters’ narratives intertwine to reveal memories and shifting loyalties, what it means for different individuals to exist and live in Berlin at this time.
Mr Lewis introduced a couple of his characters by reading parts of the book. What prompted him to write it was a newspaper article he came across in 1992 that described the return of Jewish property confiscated by Nazis. It took him a long time to write; in the meantime he wrote other books. Still he wanted to complete the story that he not only researched but also felt through his own Jewish heritage.
The talk was followed by refreshments and book signing.