Moring's novels--In Babylon is the third--are bestsellers in his native Holland and it's to be hoped that British audiences will snap up his work with equal eagerness. In Babylon is family history, love story, ghost story and fairytale all rolled into one. In essence-but this is a book whose essence is elusive--it is the story of Nathan Hollander, who has inherited a hunting lodge from his recently-deceased uncle Herman on the condition that he, Nathan, produces a biography of Herman, a world-famous sociologist.
Nathan and his beautiful niece Nina are trapped in the lodge during the worst blizzard the East Netherlands has ever seen: the perfect opportunity for them to explore the convoluted history of this family of Jewish clockmakers who left Poland in the 17th century and ended up, during the Second World War, at the heart of the Manhattan Project. Along the way, Nathan gets advice from Chaim and Magnus, a pair of ironical ancestors whose death 300 years ago hasn't stopped them from kibitzing, and discovers that his feelings for Nina are more than just familial. In Babylon is that rarest of things: a truly intelligent, philosophical novel with a terrific story at its heart. --Erica Wagner