The Wish Child - Catherine Chidgey

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I am the wish child, the future cast in water. I am the thrown coin, the blown candle; I am the fallen star.

At the heart of Catherine Chidgey’s extraordinary novel is an enigmatic voice that tells the story of German families caught up in a nation’s dream.

Germany, 1939. Sieglinde lives in the affluent ignorance of middle-class Berlin. Erich is an only child living a lush rural life, aware that he is shadowed by strange, unanswered questions. Both children watch as their parents become immersed in the puzzling mechanisms of power.

Drawn together as Germany’s hope for a glorious future begins to collapse, the children find temporary refuge in an abandoned theatre amidst the rubble of Berlin. The days they spend there together will shape the rest of their lives.

The Wish Child is a profound meditation on the wreckage caused by a corrupt ideology, on the resilience of the human spirit, and on crimes that cannot be undone.

The Wish Child reminds us with grace and understated wisdom of a need to strive for universal good. I ached as I read. This novel is unmissable.’ —Sunday Star-Times

‘This is a brilliant novel, with a cohesive and persuasive vision of human beings under stress, a subtle prose-style and a major grasp of things that really matter.’ —Reid’s Reader

‘Chidgey’s compellingly gentle and empathetic treatment of the consequences of very disturbing patterns of human behaviour serves to maintain her position as one of our “must read” novelists.’ —Otago Daily Times

‘a fiercely determined act of imagining’ —North and South

‘an incredible piece of writing’ —New Zealand Listener

Winner of the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction, 2017.

Victoria University Press, 2016 (first edition). Paperback, 135 x 216mm, 384 pages. 

Condition: secondhand paperback in excellent, near new condition.