This historical novel tells of three families, British, Hungarian and Russian, whose lives are linked for 50 years during and after the Cold War. Their experiences reflect the danger, bravery, heartbreak, joy, and sorrow of those days when Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain. Four 11-year-olds spend an idyllic seaside holiday in England in August 1956, just before the Suez crisis and the Hungarian Uprising intensify the Cold War. John Symons skillfully portrays how world events, including the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Solidarity movement in Poland in the early 1980s, the end of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 and in the Soviet Union in 1991 affected the lives of the four children and their families in their respective countries. The author draws on Russian documents not yet available in English to paint a picture of the Cold War in human terms and to show its origins in the rise of Lenin, Hitler, and Stalin and the Second World War. A Tear in the Curtain can be read with pleasure and interest by three generations.