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Die Andere (1994)

von Ursula Hegi

Reihen: Burgdorf Cycle (1)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
4,444642,136 (3.97)124
Das Leben in einer deutschen Kleinstadt zwischen 1915 und 1952, gesehen aus dem Blickwinkel von Trudi Montag, einer Zwergin - "der Anderen": das Leben nach dem 1. Weltkrieg, das langsame Starkwerden der Nazis und die Zeit danach.
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2012?? Book club book
  PatLibrary123 | Aug 9, 2022 |
It has been a while since a book has enthralled me the way this book has, and yet I am struggling to give it anything more than 3 stars. Ursula Hegi strength is her power to transport us into this German community during the years from the end of WWI until the years just after WWII. The small village inhabitants – their rivalry, small and big conflicts, acts of bravery or cowardice, etc... – are poignantly described by Hegi. But, I felt at the end that the background had taken priority over the individual characters.

While the communal experience of war left me breathless and teary at times, once the plot moved from it, the personal struggles seemed underdeveloped, becoming rushed or simply abandoned while new conflicts stirred up. This is too bad, because for quite a while the main character carried the story well, but at some time Ursula Hegi seems to lose the control of this world she created and too many characters with too many personal stories become too loosely connected, with side stories sprouting and disappearing, while what should had been the driving event directing the book – the revenge planed by the main character against the boys that so deeply hurt her – becomes secondary. This is evident at the end, when it is all tied together in a most unsatisfactory and unconvincing way.

Now, having said all this, I am considering nominating this book to my offline bookclub. While it lacks in literary sophistication, Stones from the River still raises deep questions on the personal responsibility of individuals in the political events happening around us all. A good book to discuss, I am sure.
( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
This sat on my shelf for such a long time. I thought about releasing it without reading it but something stopped me. And I'm glad.

One reviewer called it "epic" and I can't think of a better word. It is the story of Trudi Montag, born a little person - dwarf - zwerg - who tried to become normal. As a child she tried to stretch herself by hanging from closet bars. She tried to squash her head to make is smaller, more proportionate.

None of these efforts caused anything but pain, and eventually Trudi gave up on them. She took her place beside her father in their pay library, checking out books, taking in fees, finding books and saving the new ones for special customers. Her mother had lived on the edge of madness so it was Trudi and her father as she grew up.

Fortunately, Trudi's father was a kind, accepting, wise man. During the 1930s in Germany it was easy to be targeted if you were kind and accepting. Her father did not let this deter him from helping when his Jewish neighbors were pushed from their homes and arrested for no reason.

We follow Trudi through her early years, then on into the second world war and beyond. We watch as her neighbors show their true colors and as Trudi learns how to forgive sometimes, but not always. An incident in her early teens caused her to distrust almost everyone, especially those who wanted more from her, who wanted real love.

This huge novel takes a small life and brings into focus what it was like to be German during Hitler's reign, what it was like to be different then as it is now. I appreciated the nuanced portrayals of Trudi's town and neighbors. Written by someone who wasn't alive until much later, it reads like she was there, on the spot.

When they are this good, there is always room for more interpretations of those terrible times, as they bring about greater understanding.
( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
I read this long ago, but it has stuck in my mind -- the sign of an engaging read. ( )
1 abstimmen WendyHinman | Aug 29, 2020 |
This mesmerizing story was hard to put down! It was such a beautifully written book. I was instantly connected to the main character, Trudi, and concerned for the well-being of the minor characters such as Frau Ambromovitz and the others who populate this fictional town. I recommend it highly. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
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As a child Trudi Montag thought everyone knew what went on inside others.
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When, at the funeral, Frau Weskopp, who'd worn widow's black for over six years, had tried to comfort Jutta--"Little Joachim is lucky he was christened so that he won't be in purgatory"--Jutta had turned her rage on the old woman, shouting at her to worry about her Nazi sons, who were frying in hell.
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Das Leben in einer deutschen Kleinstadt zwischen 1915 und 1952, gesehen aus dem Blickwinkel von Trudi Montag, einer Zwergin - "der Anderen": das Leben nach dem 1. Weltkrieg, das langsame Starkwerden der Nazis und die Zeit danach.

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