Guus Heemstra is a Dutchman doing his military duties in Germany.His father has 'pulled strings' to get him a 'soft' job driving trucks when most Dutchmen of Guus' age are laboring in factories.But now it is October 1944, and the Allies are pushing the Germans back to their frontiers, and again his father has 'pulled strings' to bring him home.Guus' father is a Dutch collaborator, a Director of the mighty Royal Dutch Shell company who has led a life of privilege which allowed him to take his family with him to the Dutch East Indies in the prewar years. In associating himself with the NSB - the Dutch Nazi Party - he has benefited from the years of German successes and their occupation of the Netherlands.Guus returns to the Netherlands and finds a place far different from the one he left. The vestiges of the once grand lifestyle remain, the house in Wassenaar, the elite suburb of The Hague, the car, the access to highlevel Germans. But there is unease for they all know that the war is lost for the Germans although the parents cling to a hope that the Germans might still fight the Allies to a standstill and that a favourable peace might prevail.The V2 rocket launches from their suburb and the commencement of the Ardennes offensive fan those hopes and the parents set aside their plans to flee to Germany. But Guus has his doubts and together with his girlfriend Frieda, whose father is a former Dutch army officer, they find themselves increasingly confronted with the consequences of collaboration, the virtual collapse of the Netherlands, and the coming retribution. And this is happening during the depths of one of the coldest winters on record when Dutchmen are starving because it is now increasingly difficult to get food to the cities. It is the 'Hunger Winter' of 194445 when people, including the Heemstras, forced to eat tulip bulbs to survive. Few understanding why the Allies do not push more urgently into the Netherlands to relieve the situation. When at last the Germans retreat and eventually an armistice is brokered, the Dutch turn on people like the Heemstras and extract vengeance.