'We are playing catch-up here with something of a contemporary European classic.' David Mills, The Sunday Times


'The novella brilliantly renders both the power of the revolutionary moment and the uncertainty of the future it unleashes.' Jane Yager, Times Literary Supplement


'This is one of those books that doesn't tell us what to think, but sets us off thinking... Who writes this kind of nuanced work in Britain?' Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian


'The message in this amusing, crafty volume of literary agitprop is change! Rise up! Rebel! Oh yes, and avoid slimy mussels.' Val Hennessy, Daily Mail

 'Sinister, funny and heartening, this taut novella reflects, within the microcosm of the family, the dissolution of the East German state, with an insight, economy and controlled fury that have made it a modern German classic.' Chris Schuler, The Independent

'There is a political edge to Vanderbeke's provocative examination of patriarchal violence, and part of the power of this darkly comic tale is how well it succeeds as an allegory for political tyranny.' Lucy Popescu, Independent on Sunday


'Astute, darkly funny, provocative, often uncomfortable in its devastating depiction of patriarchal oppression but ultimately uplifting.' Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post


'An extraordinary book, the story unspooled with masterful restraint, and written with simplicity and precision. Vanderbeke is able to animate her characters with just a few quick, clear strokes, and yet the reader cannot help but feel with them — their terror; their fear; their tiny, burgeoning hope.' Francesca Segal, Standpoint


'Vanderbeke portrays her calculating anti-hero with chilling precision.' Der Spiegel


'Vanderbeke's words draw the reader into a frightening whirlpool of obsession and misfortune. Ultimately, however, they create a beautiful image of hope.' Marie France