A TIME TO LOVE by Margot Benary-Isbert


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There's a seven year span between Annegret Benninger of The Shooting Star and fifteen year old Annegret in A Time to Love. And in between there was Blue Mystery. The appeal in Margot Benary-Isbert's books lies in a sometimes too wholesome blend of reality and sentimentality, but somehow there is a kind of charm of recognition as one meets people know before. Father Benninger is a botanist, a liberal, always on the edge of trouble with the Hitler authorities. It was he who helped Jewish friends escape to England. It was his decision that sent his daughter to Heiligenwald in the Black Forest, the one school which encouraged freedom of thought- and allowed Annegret to have her beloved Great Dane wit her. If the author's intent is to convey the likeness of German youngsters to their American counterparts, in this she succeeds. But the unlikenesses- the lack of sophistication, the scarcely resented acceptance of authority, the seemingly deliberate closing the eyes to much of the evil of Naziism- even in the Labor Service camp (quickly glossed over), some of this is hard to accept. On the story line, Margot Benary- Isbert moves right along. Her dialogue (perhaps it is the translation) seems too often stilted and unreal. This story ends with Annegret winning distinction as a singer -- and with news that Eckhart, whom she loves, has been wounded but will shortly be invalided home...Life goes on in Hitler's Germany.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1962
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace