The theme of grief and family loss appear throughout the book. Brook says that the booklet Edmund was reading stirred a reassuring and primitive emotion in Racheal (27). Racheal could not find solace in other people’s loss. The pain of losing a son was too much for her to understand other people’s sorrow. The thought of living in a country that killed her son is tormenting Racheal. Brook says that the “sobbing that came when she remembered Michael” shook her whole diaphragm (56). In addition, Frieda, who finds it hard to accept the British living in their home, also demonstrates the theme of grief. Both Lubert and Frieda had lost a loved one, Claudia. Lubert reveals that the memory of his wife was so vivid that he had no interest in being chosen or choosing any woman to replace her (Brook 53).
The theme of family loss is also evident throughout the novel. At first, Lubert and Frieda had to mourn the loss of Claudia whose body had not been found. Lewis had ordered Barker, his second in command, to gather all the information of missing persons. The ‘Missing Persons Register' puts emphasis on the theme of family loss (Brook 263). Lubert also informs that on his way to the clearance office, he passed by one of the remnant wall of the old art museum ‘Have-You-Seen-Wall” which was full of requests for information about missing loved ones (Brook 297).