Naomi Wood’s third novel is as well timed as it is well written. Coinciding with the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus, The Hiding Game traces the chequered friendships, messy relationships, thwarted hopes and misplaced dreams of a set of students at the German art school. The narrator, Paul Beckermann, explains at the outset, ‘This is my account of what happened to us in the 1920s: a decade of resplendence and tragedy.’ But Paul sells himself short: his narrative in fact extends into the 1930s. As war begins to look likely, an engaging tale filled with jealousies and rivalries turns into a dark, compelling drama about betrayal, revenge and the cost of loving too much.
Paul’s story begins in Weimar in 1922 when he is eighteen. He clicks with five of his fellow first-year ‘Bauhaus babies’ and falls for one of them, Charlotte, but keeps his feelings under wraps. Two other members of the group, Walter and Jenö, go further and enjoy a brief