This is a strange book: undated diary entries married with letters that are a collection by virtue of their survival. It is a fragment of the relationship of Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann and British officer Jack Hamesh, a Jew who fled Vienna for England in 1938, stationed in Austria during the post-War British occupation.
Bachmann's diary covers late summer 1944 to June 1945. She was 18, falling in love with ideas and with Hamesh: "This is the loveliest summer of my life and even if I live to be 100 it will still be the loveliest."
Hamesh's letters, from Easter 1946 to July 1947, chart his transition from soldier to civilian and to the so-called "homeland," as he moves to the Palestinian Territories.
This volume is remarkably slight. It is the tumult of history that lends a scope never fully expressed in text. But every communication is imperfect. No relationship fully surrenders its secrets to observers and this book never allows us to lazily assume that it does. What we get is what they got - gleaming and poignant moments.