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This is the devastating opening of die Mittagsfrau by Julia Franck which won the German Book Prize in and was published in English as. Heffernan, Valerie () Julia Franck, Die Mittagsfrau: Historia Matria and Matrilineal Narrative. In: Emerging German-Language Novelists of. Julia Franck is a German writer. Contents. 1 Life; 2 Literary works; 3 Family connections Her three most recent novels, Lagerfeuer, Die Mittagsfrau, and Rücken an Rücken, as well as the collection Grenzübergänge, engage explicitly with.

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To view it, click here. The parents are a couple devoted to each other, but not as involved with their daughters, the only children who survive. It does not leave you breathless, sad, and with a heavy heart like the usual Holocaust-victim stories.

Her father, with whom she has the most normal relationship, leaves the family to go off to war only to return years later, crippled and lifeless. Her charismatic, morphine-addicted older sister Martha engages her in an incestuous relationship.

Bautzen, where Helene grew up, is synonymous with brutal imprisonment, whether during the Nazi regime or later, until the Fall of the Berlin Wall. It covers the time from the end of WWI until the early ‘s in Germany. Helene peered through her lashes, but Martha’s eyes weren’t on her any more, there were wandering aimlessly, blissfully, under her own half-closed lids, and Helene saw Martha’s lips opening slightly and moving.

Op een dag vertrekt haar zus naar de grote stad, Berlijn en blijft Helen alleen achter met haar moeder. German Book Prize Mar 24, Monica Carter rated it really liked it Shelves: She leaves Peter in search of Martha who she fears has been taken to a concentration camp.


Ein Tod, war, ist und bleibt ein Tod und die Reaktion darauf individuell und eigen. Franck’s novel is a thought-provoking and, at times, unsettling and disturbing story of one person’s deep love and loss, loneliness and rejection, responsibility and neglect, and the desperate, sometimes incomprehensible, will to survive.

Die Mittagsfrau-The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck- translated by Anthea Bell. | peakreads

Can you see under my skin too, little angel? Here, I feel, the author rather loses her way, calling upon stereotypes rather than mining her own imagination.

Der von Frank geschaffene Ekel ist so Widerlich, weil er bekannt, ehrlich und nahe ist. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. We see a mixture of German and Jewish people who will be divided over time and how these two economically marginal sisters have to make a life in this craziness. The book was rescued a bit by the second half but, to be honest, I was glad to finish it! As readers, we watch helplessly as Helene becomes increasingly detached, her heart becoming cold and numb.

She thinks she finds a future, but nearly everything she is close to is taken away. This cover makes it resemble a romantic read, a book for women who like historical fiction.

The only character I sort of liked was Ernst, and then he went and died so then you were left with sisters with a distinctly odd relationship I don’t have a sister, but I couldn’t really believe that and a mother I desperately wanted to slap some rational into. Views Read Edit View history. Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more.

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This applies especially to the Berlin’s “Golden Twenties”. We are not clear in the beginning on the reality of the marriage, but see how Helene struggles with her young son as she works as a nurse, in conditions that continue to deteriorate as World War II is ending The Blindness frandk the Heart by Julia Franck, which is translated from the German, is a great read for those of us who only read English.

Amy of The Black Sheep Dances. Peter tilted his head back and looked up to his father.

The Blindness of the Heart

The fragility of women in this society is a part of the story, which we have to consider when we think about women in wars, regardless of which side they are on. Return to Book Page.

I couldn’t care less about this woman and I was angry that she repeated her own mother’s faults. Both those ideas had gone through my mind- though cynical me had seen her as a sex worker rather than a lover. It’s hard not to see Helene’s life as a metaphor for Germany and her people: In other words, you have to deduce the themes by yourself and Franck’s is not preachy in expressing her views on these themes. But we mustn’t lose ourselves to it perhaps like Germany did to horrors of Nazismit remains unforgivable as Peter exhibits.

Martha’s voice was husky; with her other hand she drew Helene’s head towards her and pressed her own mouth on Helene’s.