"wherever you may be you are always a stranger and a pilgrim..."--Thomas a Kempis
Kaethe Shalk has married into a family of disappearing German aristocracy. Having spent years in East Berlin, devoted, after her fashion, to an American father himself devoted to the grand socialist ideal, she faces a new life of boundless complexity. When the Berlin Wall comes down, the ruin of the East stands bare, in stark contrast to the exuberance of the West.
Kaethe's journey from America to the broken ground of contemporary Germany becomes an act of recovery: of lives intertwined by politics and passion, of memory and the invented self--and of Kaethe's search for a daughter lost to her, now grown and living in uncompromising isolation from her mother's past and present somewhere in vast, resurgent Berlin.
The art of this novel shines in its prose. Kai Maristed's Broken Ground tells a layered story of life's discord and counterpoint, set against a background of ruin and renewal. This is a novel of mesmerizing power.