I don’t read a huge amount of fiction; but a fictional account built round people and events I can enjoy. On another forum I confirmed an analysis of authors read over a two year period. Only one third female, which this one was. I was reading it in translation.
In essence it was Boy-Meets-Girl, which I wouldn’t normally go anywhere near. But it was much more than that. For it related to a subject I’ve read often.
The reading involved some lengthy sessions – can’t put down; then some short ones as the end approached; short, but frequent – don’t want it to end.
I’m not going to tell you too much. They meet in 1964, in Frankfurt. She was a translator; he a witness. She was from Danzig, long Prussian ancestry, but had moved to Switzerland in childhood. He was from Vienna, which had been Austrian.
Just out of boyhood he was given a field-grey uniform and sent to the front. A few years later he had another uniform. And another name.
She was 15 years younger. In time they settled, in Germany. Martial law in Poland took them back, in a truck, laden with relief. Tower blocks co-ordinated lights at certain windows. S. Solidarnosc. Friends were met. Old haunts visited. Memories.
They moved house; further north; into old age. How do you live with it?
This is one astonishing tale, superbly put together. This Place Holds No Fear. Monika Held.