What Remains at the End
In the aftermath of World War II, hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavia’s ethnic Germans, the Danube Swabians, were expelled by Tito’s Partisan regime. A further sixty thousand were killed.
Seventy years later, Marie Kohler’s marriage is falling apart. She’s seeing someone new, an enigmatic man named David, who takes her to the former Yugoslavia to find the truth behind her grandparents’ flight to America.
Alternating between the late 1940s and contemporary Serbia, Marie’s story is interwoven with those of Tito’s victims – a young survivor who has lost his mother and his identity, a woman held captive in a sugar factory, a refugee girl living in Austria under the din of air raid sirens. Her journey follows the Danube in search of connection in the face of loss. Connection to the lost souls, to the memory of her grandfather, to the man beside her, to her grandmother suffering Alzheimer’s back home.
What Remains at the End considers what happens when the truth goes unspoken, and asks how it can be recovered, if there is anything left to recover, in the face of so many secrets. Alexandra Ford has written an intriguing debut novel of personal relationships played out against some of the very worst results of realpolitik, where human life is subjugated to political and national ideology.