Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt
(Simon & Schuster, 2015)

Devastation Road

by Jason Hewitt

A deeply compelling and poignant story that, like the novels of Pat Barker or Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong, dramatises the tragic lessons of war, the significance of belonging and of memory - without which we become lost, even to ourselves.

Spring, 1945: A man wakes in a field in a country he does not know. Injured and confused, he pulls himself to his feet and starts to walk, and so sets out on an extraordinary journey in search of his home, his past and himself.

His name is Owen. A war he has only a vague memory of joining is in its dying days, and as he tries to get back to England he becomes caught up in the flood of refugees pouring through Europe. Among them is a teenage boy, Janek, and together they form an unlikely alliance as they cross battle-worn Germany. When they meet a troubled young woman, tempers flare and scars are revealed as Owen gathers up the shattered pieces of his life. No one is as he remembers, not even himself - how can he truly return home when he hardly recalls what home is?

Reviews

A wide-reaching and poignant evocation of WWII and its landswept aftermath. Told in exquisite prose, Owen's journey builds to a powerful and yes devastating - finale. The most moving and gripping novel I've read in a long while”
- Alex Preston, author of This Bleeding City
Utterly magnificent. A passionate, intelligent and lyrical book, whose characters are compelling, intricate, complex, surprising people”
- Manda Scott, author of Into the Fire
A hypnotic and heartrending tale of fragmented wartime memories. Beautifully written”
- Juliet West, author of Before the Fall