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The German Boy by Tricia Wastvedt
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The German Boy (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Tricia Wastvedt

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181561,019 (3.75)3
Member:crgalvin
Title:The German Boy
Authors:Tricia Wastvedt
Info:Viking (2011), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:World War II, Sibling rivalry, Friendship, Adoption, Historical fiction

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The German Boy by Tricia Wastvedt (2011)

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The title of this book is a little misleading. There is a German boy in the story, and in fact him coming to England to live with his aunt Elisabeth after the death of his mother and father in the war is how the book begins and ends. However, it is only a very small part of the story, which focuses on Elisabeth, her all-consuming love for a man named Michael, her sister, Karen, Michael's sister, Rachel, and a few other members of their families and friends.

This is a true saga of a book in that it starts off in 1947, when Stefan (the German boy) arrives in England, goes back to 1927, and then moves on through the years until it ends where it began, in 1947. It is cleverly plotted and I particularly liked the fact that the reader is told various things at the beginning and along the way, which then fall into place later on. The spectre of the First World War and the unstoppable ascent towards the Second World War are very much features of this novel, and I did get a real sense of what it must have been like for British people and for the Germans at this time.

I found this to be quite a slow-burning book and it did take me a while to get into it, but I then found myself really enjoying it and looking forward to picking it up again. It's got a lot going on and a fair few coincidences that somehow did work.

I'm definitely going to read Patricia Wastvedt's first book, The River, now. Her lyrical style and interesting characterisations and storylines are very appealing. ( )
  nicx27 | Dec 7, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067091942X, Paperback)

In 1947, Elisabeth Mander's German nephew comes to stay: Stefan Landau, her dead sister's teenage son, whom she hates and loves before she's even set eyes on him. Orphaned by the war and traumatised by the last, vicious battles of the Hitler Youth, Stefan brings with him to England only a few meagre possessions. Among them a portrait of a girl with long copper hair by a young painter called Michael Ross - and with it the memory, both painful and precious, of her life and that time between the wars. Spanning decades and generations, "The German Boy" tells the moving story of two families entangled by love and friendship, divided by prejudice and war, and of a brief encounter between a woman and a man that touched each of their lives forever.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:54 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In 1947, Elisabeth Mander's German nephew comes to stay: Stefan Landau, her dead sister's teenage son, whom she hates and loves before she's even set eyes on him. Orphaned by the war and traumatised by the last, vicious battles of the Hitler Youth, Stefan brings with him to England only a few meagre possessions. Among them a portrait of a girl with long copper hair by a young painter called Michael Ross - and with it the memory, both painful and precious, of her life and that time between the wars. Spanning decades and generations." -- BOOK JACKET… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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