måndag 25 juli 2016

Book review: Vielleicht Esther

Title: Vielleicht Esther (Perhaps Esther)
Author: Katja Petrowskaja
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Year published: 2014
Pages: ~250
A place to buy it: If you are in Sweden you can buy if from Bokus (in Swedish) and if that is not the case you can buy if of Amazon (in German).
Other: Original language is German, I read a Swedish translation but the book has no English translation at the moment.
Previous book review: Gilead

Discovering history

In this book Katja writes small segments - divided into six chapters - where she shares the life of her family members. Their lives plays out during WWII, in Poland, Ukraine and Soviet. Some manages to survive, others do not. She also travels to places where past events took place, like Babij Jar. There are some photos of the people and places mentioned throughout the book, and that really gives a connection to reality. She discovers past events and ties them back to today - what had today been like if this had been different back then?

I didn't feel hooked during the first chapter, it felt like a messy way to paint a family tree that stretches far back. The second chapter and forward on the other hand was great. I was really eager to finding out more, and if there was another book with more stories of Katja's family members I would read it as well.

Turning numbers into people

Something this book did was giving another perspective on WWII. To know that 20 million people died is one thing, but to hear some stories from those who survived - and some who didn't - really turn numbers into people. Of course this is not the first time this has been done, but it was done well in this book.

It is a shame that this haven't been translated into English, because even if this is not a feelgood it is a good book and I did very much enjoy reading it. I read it in less than a week and it was really making me hooked. If you can find a language to read this on I really recommend it!