The Blindness of the Heart

The Blindness of the Heart

Book - 2009
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Winner of the German Book Prize, The Blindness of the Heart is a dark marvel of a novel by one of Europe's freshest young voices--a family story spanning two world wars and several generations in a German family. In the devastating opening scene, a woman named Helene stands with her seven-year-old son in a provincial German railway station in 1945, amid the chaos of civilians fleeing west. Having survived with him through the horror and deprivation of the war years, she abandons him on the station platform and never returns.

The story quickly circles back to Helene's childhood with her sister Martha in rural Germany, which came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of the First World War. Their father is sent to the eastern front, and their Jewish mother withdraws from the hostility of her surroundings into a state of mental confusion. As we follow Helene into adulthood, we watch riveted as the costs of survival and ill-fated love turn her into a woman capable of the unforgiveable.

Julia Franck's unforgettable English language debut throws new light on life in early-twentieth-century Germany, revealing the breathtaking scope of its citizens' denial--the "blindness of the heart" that survival often demanded.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, 2009, c2007
ISBN: 9780802119674
Branch Call Number: FRANC
Characteristics: 424 p
Additional Contributors: Bell, Anthea

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uncommonreader
Aug 01, 2012

This is a dense, complex, very German novel. A mother, who marries a Fascist, cannot love their child. The book is about how to live and survive. Recommended.

r
rpawlick
Jul 26, 2011

Finding and understanding love must have been difficult at this time and dealing with life extremely mental.

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