"Stewart O'Nan's ‘City of Secrets’ is at once a return to the mystery and suspense of much of his oeuvre and an exploration of a difficult place and time in history, a new setting for his work. O'Nan's singularly fluent prose marks the book as solely his from the first page, and the remarkable depth with which he understands human nature and the internal conflicts that both drive and give pause is on full display as he unfolds the story of Brand, a holocaust survivor and illegal refugee in British-ruled, post-WWII Jerusalem. Brand is a somewhat reluctant member of the violent underground resistance to the British occupation, and through his story the novel asks how much of his humanity a man can lose before giving into despair, who he'll cling to when he's desperately alone, and how much of his own moral code he's willing to break for another man's cause." --Chris— From Chris's Staff Recommendations
"Stewart O'Nan's City of Secrets will keep you up all night reading - what a beautifully crafted novel." - Alan Furst, New York Times bestselling author of Mission to Paris From master storyteller Stewart O'Nan, a timely moral thriller of the Jewish underground resistance in Jerusalem after the Second World War In 1945, with no homes to return to, Jewish refugees by the tens of thousands set out for Palestine. Those who made it were hunted as illegals by the British mandatory authorities there and relied on the underground to shelter them; taking fake names, they blended with the population, joining the wildly different factions fighting for the independence of Israel. City of Secrets follows one survivor, Brand, as he tries to regain himself after losing everyone he's ever loved. Now driving a taxi provided--like his new identity--by the underground, he navigates the twisting streets of Jerusalem as well as the overlapping, sometimes deadly loyalties of the resistance. Alone, haunted by memories, he tries to become again the man he was before the war--honest, strong, capable of moral choice. He falls in love with Eva, a fellow survivor and member of his cell, reclaims his faith, and commits himself to the revolution, accepting secret missions that grow more and more dangerous even as he begins to suspect he's being used by their cell's dashing leader, Asher. By the time Brand understands the truth, it's too late, and the tragedy that ensues changes history. A noirish, deeply felt novel of intrigue and identity written in O'Nan's trademark lucent style, City of Secrets asks how both despair and faith can lead us astray, and what happens when, with the noblest intentions, we join movements beyond our control. From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Stewart O'Nan is the author of fifteen previous novels, including West of Sunset, The Odds, Emily Alone, Songs for the Missing, Last Night at the Lobster, A Prayer for the Dying, and Snow Angels. His 2007, novel Last Night at the Lobster, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where he lives with his family. From the Hardcover edition.