Die Unschärfe der Welt – von Iris Wolff
Eindrücke vom Buch
“Die Unschärfe der Welt” ist eine sorgfältig konstruierte Erzählung über das Leben verschiedener, miteinander verflochtenen Persönlichkeiten aus mehreren Generationen einer deutschen Familie in Rumänien. Sie beginnt zur Zeit des Kommunismus und dauert bis nach dem Sturz von Ceaușescu. Continue reading “Ein Beziehungsgeflecht”
Dominus by Steven Saylor
Starting in 165 AD, multiple generations of the legendary Pinarius family of sculptors lead us through 160 years of otherwise rather obscure Roman history. We follow the often very brief reigns of some thirty emperors – often called Dominus. We learn of their military exploits, family rivalries and sexual perversions. But we also become aware of a growing religious tension. Continue reading “Roman history through the eyes of a patrician family”
Dramatic events following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes
France, 1685. Louis XIV has brazenly revoked his grandfather Henry IV’s treaty, which had granted Protestants substantial residential and religious rights. Now the King is determined to unite the nation in one Church – by force, if necessary. A period of persecution of Huguenots commences. Continue reading “Torn apart for their faith”
Being Lena Levi by Bobbie Ann Cole
Is she Marlene or Lena? For a fourteen-year-old English schoolgirl to discover ‘Mum’ is not her real mother and by birth she is a German Jewess is a life-shattering revelation. And who is the real ‘Mutti‘ is behind her glamorous but rather worldly façade; she’s quite a contrast to the Christian circles Marlene had grown up in. But how could Mum deceive her so cruelly?
Marlene decides on the spur of the moment to experiment with being Lena. She travels with Mutti by train and ship – how exciting! – to Haifa in Israel, and is introduced to the young Jewish nation’s struggle to survive in a hostile and rather neglected environment. On the way, a brief conversation with a sympathetic old man exposes her burning dilemma. Continue reading “Torn between two lives”
Before The Storm 1685 by Paul C. R. Monk – an object lesson in creative historical fiction writing
This free novella covers the same dramatic events as my work-in-progress, Gédéon. In my opinion, Paul C. R. Monk has not only written a captivating prequel to his trilogy, The Huguenot Chronicles but presents a masterpiece in regard to character, location setting and atmosphere.
These short chapters contain invaluable examples of how to draw a reader inexorably into the depicted scene, reveal the contrasting temperaments of the protagonists, and conjure a vivid feel for the horrendous experience of having one’s home commandeered by unscrupulous dragoons.
I’d like to quote some passages – narratives as well as dialogues – to illustrate these points. Continue reading “Dramatic tension as the storm brews”
Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett
Edge of Eternity – the final book of Follett’s perspective-shattering Century Trilogy – traces the vibrant lives of the offspring of the British, Russian, German and American families that we got to know in Fall of Giants and Winter of the World. Relationships come and go and fates fluctuate, revealing international intrigues at the highest levels. A salutary feature of the narrative is how most world leaders are revealed as dishonest, weak and morally corrupt puppets of various political and economic factions. Continue reading “International intrigues at the highest levels”
Der Duft von bitteren Orangen, von Claire Hajaj
Wer Eltern hatte oder selber eine Familie, der weiss, dass es früher oder später zu Meinungsdifferenzen, Spannungen oder sogar Konflikte innerhalb der Familie kommen kann. Wie, aber, wenn sprachliche, religiöse, kulturelle und vor allem ethnische Faktoren mitspielen? Oder kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen zwischen den Herkunftsvölkern?
“Unsere Familien werden niemals akzeptieren, dass wir zusammen sind.” Continue reading “Ein einzigartiges Familiendrama”
During the first 20 years of the second century AD, Gaius Segusiavus Peregrinus is torque-bearer of the Gallic clan based near Lugdunum (Lyons). As master of the family’s cereal and luxury goods shipping enterprise, he constantly roams Mare Nostrum, visiting the trading posts in Ostia (Rome), Carthago, Alexandria, Antiochia and Ephesos. His faithful wife Fionna delights him whenever he is back at the Villa of the Three Crows, but his sons and nephew disappoint him. Will anyone prove worthy of inheriting the family torque when he dies? Continue reading “The Peregrine’s Odyssey by Michael Kleinfall”
Another masterpiece of passion and insight!
We experience the suspense and tragedy of WWII through the eyes of the offspring of the people we came to know in Fall of Giants, the first book in the Century Trilogy. These children grow up into realistic, passionate characters who travel the world, engage in devious pursuits and fall in love. Continue reading “Winter of the World by Ken Follett”
This is one of the best of Dickens’ works, in my opinion.
True, it starts off heavy and bleak, but Mr. Squeers and Dotheboys Hall do play a significant rôle throughout the book. If anything, the digression involving Mr. Crummles and his performing troupe could have been omitted without loss to the story. Continue reading “Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens”