On a summer visit to Germany, George, a young medical student at Cambridge, meets Anna von Kleist, whose intellectual force, beauty, and self-assurance smite him full in the heart. It is 1936. Hitler is already in power, and a shift has occurred in Germany that Anna, George, and their friend Werner have not fully grasped. Europe is on the cusp of war when the three find themselves in a painful love triangle that plays between England and Germany. Facing decisions that will forever alter the course of their lives, they must choose and live with the consequences of their choices.
Reviewers have compared Oatley's pure, spare prose with that of A.S. Byatt and Umberto Eco. In Therefore Choose, his intimately rendered characters draw us irrevocably into their quest for meaning, hope, and understanding in a world diving headlong into chaos.