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 Stones from the River - Ursula Hegi

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Nicole

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Posts : 19
Join date : 2008-11-29
Location : New York City

PostSubject: Stones from the River - Ursula Hegi   Sun 01 Feb 2009, 12:25 pm

My February selection is a 1997 Oprah suggestion: Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi.
Based on a co-worker's recommendation I am looking forward to reading this work from an author who is not familiar to me.
Happy Reading!
Nicole
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Nicole

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Posts : 19
Join date : 2008-11-29
Location : New York City

PostSubject: Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi - Review   Sat 28 Feb 2009, 3:46 pm

Stones from the River, is a novel about ordinary townsfolk living in
a fictional small German town. It spans the years 1915 to 1952.
The protagonist is Trudi Montag a Zwerg (German for dwarf), who
becomes the town's unofficial historian, and story teller.
She comes of age, resents her "difference", and eventually finds and loses romantic love.
Through her interaction with various townfolks, the author paints a pre World War II
environment where ordinary neighbors, for fear of unsettling the quiet fabric of their
community, maintain "secrets"; secrets about neighbor's illusions, ill-timed births, etc.
This accepted social code feeds and leads most of the town into being either active
persecutioners or complicit conformist towards the annihilation of the local Jewish
population during WWII.
The author uses Trudy's outsider status to dramatize how ordinary Germans coped,
adapted, resisted, and conformed during Hitler's Third Reich.
Although this work received great reviews, I am not able to recommend it.
I did not enjoy this read. I found no new insights into a topic covered so many times
before. I was not able to connect with Trudi and her obsessive, deceitful handling of her
neighbor's secrets.
I give this book a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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