During the almost six years England was at war with Nazi Germany, Winifred and Bernard Schlesinger, Ian Buruma's grandparents, and the film director John Schlesinger's parents, were, like so many others, thoroughly sundered from each other. Their only recourse was to write letters back and forth. And write they did, often every day. Now, in a labor of love that is also a powerful act of artistic creation, their grandson has woven his own voice in with theirs to bring to life not just a remarkable marriage but a class and an age. Winifred and Bernard inherited the high European cultural ideals and attitudes that came of being born into prosperous German-Jewish émigré families. To young Ian, who would visit from Holland every Christmas, they seemed the very essence of English life at its most pleasant and refined. It wasn't until years later that he discovered how much more there was to the story. At its heart, this is the story of cultural assimilation. The Schlesingers were very British in the way their relatives in Germany were very German, until Hitler destroyed that option. The problems of being Jewish and facing anti-Semitism even in the country they loved were met with a kind of stoic discretion. But they showed solidarity when it mattered most. Many are the books that do bad marriages justice; precious few books take readers inside a good marriage. Here, Buruma has done just that, introducing us to a couple whose love was sustaining through the darkest hours of the century.--Adapted from book jacket.