11 July 1986. They meet by chance on a bus.
She is a young student, he is older and married. Theirs is an intense and sudden attraction, fuelled by a shared passion for music and art, and heightened by the secrecy they must maintain. But when she strays for a single night he cannot forgive her and a dangerous crack forms between them, opening up a space for cruelty, punishment and the exertion of power.
And the world around them is changing too: as the GDR begins to crumble, so too do all the old certainties and the old loyalties, ushering in a new era whose great gains also involve profound loss. From a prize-winning German writer, this is the intimate and devastating story of the path of two lovers through the ruins of a relationship, set against the backdrop of a seismic period in European history.