An Honest Man (2019)
"A powerful and moving love story by a writer at the top of his game."
"An outstanding novel."
In West Berlin in 1989, eighteen-year-old Ralf has just left school and is living a final golden summer with his three best friends. They spend their days swimming, smoking and daydreaming about the future, oblivious to the storm gathering on the other side of the Berlin Wall.
But an unsettling discovery about his family and a meeting with the mysterious Oz shatters everything Ralf thought he knew about love and loyalty. And as old Cold War tensions begin to tear his life apart, he finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, forced to make impossible choices about his country, his family and his heart.
An Honest Man was featured as one of the best novels of 2019 in The Sunday Times, the Financial Times and The Times Literary Supplement.
You can order An Honest Man from your local bookstore, or online from Foyle's, Waterstones, Amazon and many other retailers.
"A beautifully written, evocative literary thriller set in Berlin shortly before the fall of the Wall." (The Financial Times)
"In An Honest Man Ben Fergusson richly evokes West Berlin in 1989 through his narrator’s nineteen-year-old self." (Times Literary Supplement)
"As well as a poignant love story, it’s also a gripping, original thriller; a final twist I definitely didn’t see coming sets a powerful climax in motion just as the Wall comes down. But this is a novel as much about the end of innocence, the limits of ideology and the pain of realising the people we love are far from perfect – in this case very far indeed." (The i Newspaper)
“Ben Fergusson’s compelling story is as sensitive as it is moving. It vividly evokes Berlin in 1989 and perfectly captures the atmosphere and mood of what was then a tragic city. And his characters are all too believable, their flaws and attributes neatly defining the human condition.” (The Daily Express)
"Stunning, powerful and addictive." (Attitude)
"Atmospheric and thought-provoking." (Daily Mail)
"Precise and detailed in its recreation of late-1980s West Berlin, the novel movingly recounts Ralf’s painful discoveries about love and loyalty ... An outstanding novel." (Sunday Times)
"Profoundly moving – a deftly crafted story of love and loss, I believed every word of it." (Jake Arnott)
"I quickly found myself hooked. The character of Ralf and his relationships with both his family and friends (particularly Oz) are beautifully drawn. Ralf's journey from innocence to adulthood is fascinating, surprising and poignant as the plot twists and turns and the reader, along with Ralf, has no idea who to trust. It is a compelling story that held me captive until the last page." (Ruth Hogan)
"Fiercely beautiful, this tender, yet powerfully told story of love and discovery cradles the reader in the most pleasurable way. A lush, unforgettable read." (Kate Mayfield author of The Parentations)
"I was completely enthralled by the story of Ralf and the complex friendships and family ties that surround him in the last days of the Berlin Wall. Both a literary thriller and a moving love story, An Honest Man magically captures that strange hinterland between childhood and what lies ahead – and it will keep you guessing until the very last page." (Sarah Day, author of Mussolini's Island)