Paul, a young Frenchman, meets Clara in the Bavarian village of Kehlstein during the 1960s. He is the son of a Resistance fighter, murdered in mysterious circumstances; she, the daughter of a doctor who had served in the Wehrmacht. Both were born at a time when Europe was at last at peace, yet they are both victims of history, for each of them bears the weight of pain and memory, and each is an indirect witness to the crimes and ravages of war.
Paul’s and Clara’s paths are to cross and entwine in unexpected ways over the years. Paul becomes a sculptor, she a photographer, but in their work, as in their lives, neither can escape the truth of Shakespeare’s observation that ‘the evil that men do lives after them’.
Written in beautiful prose, Clara’s Tale is a magnificent novel, which spans the political events of the second half of the twentieth century.