'Little by little, Elsa leaked out of her enclosure, strayed out into every corner of the house ...In my bed at night, she switched places with me, she enjoying the softness of my bed, and I finding myself cramped up in her airless niche.' This extraordinary novel is seen through Johannes' eyes. As an avid member of the Hitler Youth in the 1930s, he discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl called Elsa, behind a false wall in their large house in Vienna. Johannes' initial horror turns to interest, then love and obsession. After the death of his mother and disappearance of his father, he soon finds he is the only one aware of Elsa's existence in the house, the only one responsible for her survival. Both manipulating and manipulated, Johannes dreads the end of the war and the prospect of losing Elsa. His solution is to create the illusion that Hitler won. Trapped by his lies, the couple's relationship ranges through passion and obsession, dependence and indifference, love and hate. This gripping, masterful work lays bare the darkest corners of the human soul.