John Boyne is a full-time writer living in Dublin. He was writer-in-residence at the University of East Anglia in Creative Writing and spent many years working as a bookseller. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Propelled into the priesthood by a family tragedy, Odran Yates is full of hope and ambition. Forty years later, his devotion is caught in revelations that shatter the Irish people’s faith in the Catholic Church. He sees his friends stand trial, colleagues jailed and the lives of young parishioners destroyed. But when a family event opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within the church and to recognize his own complicity in their propagation.
Eliza Caine’s life takes a drastic turn when her father, her only family, dies from a sudden illness. Trying to right herself, and find an escape from her sadness, she takes a job as a governess far from her home in London. Leaving everything she’s ever known, Eliza stumbles into a new life and soon finds herself questioning everything from her faith to her sanity.
Eighty-year-old Georgy Jachmenev is haunted by his past. Living in England with his beloved wife, Georgy prepares to make one final journey back to the Russia he once knew and loved. As he remembers days gone by, we are transported to St. Petersburg, to the Winter Palace of the czar, in the early 20th century --- a time of change, threat and bloody revolution. As Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose.
Tristan Sadler is delivering a package of letters to the sister of Will Bancroft, the man he fought alongside during the Great War. As Tristan recounts the horrific details of what to him became a senseless war, he also speaks of his friendship with Will. The intensity of their bond brought Tristan happiness and self-discovery, as well as confusion and unbearable pain.
John Boyne's novel is the gripping story of two boys --- one the son of a commandant in Hitler's army and the other a Jew --- who come face-to-face at a barbed wire fence that separates, and eventually intertwines their lives.