Allenstein, East Prussia, 1939 - Charlotte von Datski's parents hold a glittering ball to celebrate her eighteenth birthday and to announce her engagement to a Prussian Count. Meanwhile, Hitler is ready to plunge the world into war, one that will wipe East Prussia from the face of the map. Charlotte is forced to leave her beloved homeland. By 1946, Charlotte finds herself in London with her young son, struggling to adapt to a new country and a new way of life. The secret of Charlotte's life is revealed when a book entitled One Last Summer is smuggled out of a Russian prison camp and tells of an affair between a Russian POW and a Prussian aristocrat. It becomes an instant international bestseller. Years on, Charlotte's granddaughter, Laura, comes across material relating to these events. She persuades her grandmother to embark on a journey into her past. Charlotte finally faces the demons that have haunted her for over half a century and recalls the one great love of her life. A moving and turbulent novel unlike anything Catrin Collier has written before but which has her trademark storytelling skill and her ability to portray characters with depth and sympathy.
Shortlisted for Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year Award 2008.
Catrin Collier was born into a close Welsh family in 1948 - very aware of her dual heritage. The war was recent, her mother German, her father Welsh. She loved her German grandmother, spent summers with her in Germany, and couldn't understand how ordinary Germans had allowed the monstrous Nazi regime to flourish. After working in various jobs, she became a full-time writer in 1994. In 1995 she accompanied her mother when she returned to East Prussia (now Poland) for the first time in fifty years. There she read the diaries that her mother and grandmother had kept and talked about life under the Nazis. ONE LAST SUMMER is the result of those conversations. She lives with her husband in Wales.