Her family story is so fascinating that you forgive any foibles, though. I think some readers will think that there’s a bigger problem; at the book’s close you still do not understand Meriel’s father and what made him go rogue. Yet that feels like Kurt’s destiny, to remain an enigma — even to his daughter.
More interesting are the details that fall between the cracks, and the aspects of our inherited histories that we cling to but which can never be verified. Hugo, on hearing the wife of the Nazi who had stolen his cafe had fallen into destitution after the war, apparently sent her some money. Was that true? The memory is Kurt’s, who remains throughout a shadowy figure, and we will never know.