A Desert in Bohemia by Jill Paton Walsh

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



It is 1945. Somewhere in Central Europe, in the aftermath of violence and confusion, a terrified and bloodstained young woman, Eliska, emerges from the forest to take refuge in an apparently abandoned castle. Soon she is joined by others-the idealistic Jiri, the sinister Slavomir and his partisans, and Count Michael Blansky, who is the castle's ancestral owner.

But the war has changed things forever. In a storm of ideological change, the existing order and the aristocratic heritage of ten generations are brushed aside by the arrival of Communism, and Count Michael must join the flood of refugees if he is to survive. He leaves behind a legacy that will entangle those involved for the next forty years in more ways than they can possibly imagine.

As divided post-war Europe unravels around them, communities are destroyed, families uprooted, and the ties of trust, friendship, and duty that bind them together are broken down. Told through the eyes of nine characters who live through the forty years between the end of the war and the fall of Communism, A Desert in Bohemia is a complex and enthralling testament to the power-and powerlessness-of the individual in challenging times. By the time the Berlin Wall comes down, their lives will have been battered, broken, and made whole once more.

About Jill Paton Walsh

See more books from this Author
Jill Paton Walsh is the author of four highly praised adult novels: Lapsing; A School for Lovers; Knowledge of Angels, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; and The Serpentine Cave. Her completion of Dorothy L. Sayers's unfinished final mystery, Thrones, Dominations, as well as her two original mysteries, The Wyndham Case and A Piece of Justice, also received extraordinary acclaim. She has won many awards for her children's literature, including the Whitbread Prize. She lives in Cambridge, England.
Published January 1, 2000 by Doubleday (a Division of Transworld Publishers Ltd.). 288 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Desert in Bohemia

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Blansky’s son Pavel, another emigrant who becomes fully anglicized in the sanctuary provided by his father’s wealth, and Pavel’s daughter Kate, drawn compulsively back toward Comenia by her love for her distant cousin Tomas;

| Read Full Review of A Desert in Bohemia

Entertainment Weekly

A DESERT IN BOHEMIA Jill Paton Walsh (St. Martin's, $23.95) The personal and political blend into a novel of unusual intelligence and grace depicting the effect of 50 years of communism on two families in Comenia, a fictional neighbor of Czechoslovakia that's annexed by Russia in 1945.

Jan 12 2001 | Read Full Review of A Desert in Bohemia

Reader Rating for A Desert in Bohemia

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review