Following her acclaimed 1999 novel, Cracks, Sheila Kohler returns with the spellbinding Children of Pithiviers, once again mining themes of childhood and lost innocence. The specter of Nazism hangs over a small French village where Jewish children were detained before being sent to the gas chambers. Now, 25 years later, Dierdre, an 18-year-old girl with a troubled past, is spending the summer with an aristocratic couple who were somehow involved in those awful wartime goings-on. Dierdre gradually realizes what happened, while at the same time becoming her mysterious hosts' sexual pawn. Kohler's elegant prose propels the sinister, almost dreamlike narrative.