I recently set up a blog for my mother and tried to get her to post. Her story would be interesting to many. When I told my aunt, whose life is similar in so many ways to my mother’s – a child in the war, growing up in post war Germany, migrating to Australia – her response was dismissive, “What would she write about?”
“Migrating, the war…”
My aunt interrupted and dismissed my comment, “Psft, the war! Who wants to remember that quatch!”
And therein lies the rub. Those who didn’t live through it want to hear the stories and not only want to remember, but surely HAVE to remember?
So to the novel by Anthony Doerr.
This book made me feel ill. The waste, the horror of war. The power give to petty tyrants by rising militarism and the evil they inflict in small and large ways on others. As a mother of boys – for boys risk is not to be managed but seen as a challenge – I hate the brain washing of the young German males. They, most boys, want to do what is right. They were so easily manipulated. They are still so easily manipulated.
This is a beautiful novel. Sad, painful to read. With wincing descriptions of cruelty.
A great read.