It is 1945. Somewhere in Central Europe, in the aftermath of violence and confusion, a terrified and bloodstained young woman, Eliska, emerges from the forest to take refuge in an apparently abandoned castle. Soon she is joined by others-the idealistic Jiri, the sinister Slavomir and his partisans, and Count Michael Blansky, who is the castle's ancestral owner.
But the war has changed things forever. In a storm of ideological change, the existing order and the aristocratic heritage of ten generations are brushed aside by the arrival of Communism, and Count Michael must join the flood of refugees if he is to survive. He leaves behind a legacy that will entangle those involved for the next forty years in more ways than they can possibly imagine.
As divided post-war Europe unravels around them, communities are destroyed, families uprooted, and the ties of trust, friendship, and duty that bind them together are broken down. Told through the eyes of nine characters who live through the forty years between the end of the war and the fall of Communism, A Desert in Bohemia is a complex and enthralling testament to the power-and powerlessness-of the individual in challenging times. By the time the Berlin Wall comes down, their lives will have been battered, broken, and made whole once more.