Neal Ascherson

Neal Ascherson

An unforgettable recreation of life in wartime, and of the tragic fate of Poland in the 20th century.

Neal Ascherson is a respected journalist, historian and writer. He has reported from Asia, Africa and Central Europe for the Observer and contributes regularly to the New York Review. His non-fiction books include Black Sea, Games with Shadows and The Polish August but in 2018 at the age of 85 he presents his first fiction novel, The Death of the Fronsac.

In 1940, during the Phoney War, a French destroyer blows up in the Firth of Clyde. The disaster is witnessed by Jackie, a young girl who, for a time, thinks she caused the explosion by running away from school; by her mother Helen, a spirited woman married to a dreary young officer; and by a Polish officer, whose country has just been erased from the map by Hitler and Stalin. Their lives, and the lives of many others, are changed by the death of the Fronsac.

This is a story about divided loyalties, treachery, exile and about individual destiny before and after the war.