SOMEDAY WE'LL TELL EACH OTHER EVERYTHING by Daniela Krien
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SOMEDAY WE'LL TELL EACH OTHER EVERYTHING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dense and descriptive, this debut coming-of-age tale is set against the fascinating background of German reunification.

It's the summer of 1990, and the Berlin Wall has just come down, but in the countryside of East Germany, life remains largely unchanged since the war. Sixteen-year-old Maria is living with her boyfriend, Johannes Brendel, at his family’s house, one of the two independent farmsteads remaining in the area. The Brendels are successful farmers and accepting of wayward Maria, who has stopped going to school and made herself at home on the farm. She occasionally lends a hand but mostly reads The Brothers Karamazov and makes love with Johannes. Down the road, Henner’s farm is unkempt and wild, like Henner himself. He lives there alone and is known to drink to excess. The simplicity of Maria’s narration reveals her cleareyed awareness of those around her. Members of the Brendel family become plain as day with economic, descriptive grace. But despite her awareness and the stories she tells of her past—absentee father, ineffectual mother, the “honor” of attending a strict communist summer camp—Maria’s inner landscape, and her future, are unknown territories. She and Henner are drawn to each other with a blinding strength, and their collision and resulting affair are complicated and passionate. Maria fears and craves Henner; he in turn ranges from gentle to beastly. Their need for each other is absolute, even if the reasons behind it remain a mystery. The juxtaposition of Maria’s personal turmoil with the broader changes in the way of life around her pulls an unyielding line of tension throughout the novel.

Timed with the political and cultural momentum of East Germany’s dissolution, this deceptively elegant story reveals great emotional and cultural upheaval.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-62365-084-1
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Quercus
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2014




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