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Revolution by Alex Tamayo Wolf


by Alex Tamayo Wolf

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A delightful book from which I was not really sure what to expect. I got this as an ARC and not knowing much about the author, I dived in without any preconceived notions. I was delighted by what unfolded. I think the best way to describe this would be a love story that unfolds with Vienna as its backdrop, between 1898 and the beginning of WW1. Helene and Maxl are the main characters who form a beautiful friendship as children. On their first meeting Helene(then 10yrs old) sees Maxl(a few years older) steal a bike and for some unknown reason helps him escape despite the fact that she does not condone stealing. And so begins their friendship which blossoms as the years progress, through letters and postcards and holidays spent in the countryside. But in the background looms Maxl's father who is apparently lacking in any redeeming qualities. He is brutal to his child, careless of his wife's emotions and ever scheming for ways to increase his wealth both legally and illegally. Maxl eventually gets sent off to boarding school and loses touch with Helene as he strives to become more like his father. Meanwhile, Helene's life is descending into hardship and hell as her father loses his vineyard because he gambles away all its profits and makes a deal with an unscrupulous lender. Helene faces a life of degradation and misery as she is sent to an orphanage and eventually becomes a prostitute. There is probably nothing in this novel that one has not seen or heard before but it is the way in which the tale is woven that makes it mesmerizing. The descriptions of Vienna and the Austrian countryside was just amazing. When you are reading of wealth and opulence, you feel like you are seeing it yourself and when the dirt, degradation and filth of the poor regions are described, you almost want to hold your nose cause you feel like you can smell it. I found that I could not put the book down and had to see what would happen next. Its a tale of redemption and love. A total recommend. ( )
  TrishNYC | Jul 13, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615147720, Paperback)

In the beautiful countryside outside imperial Vienna, in the years leading up to World War I, a remarkable story took place... Helene Marie Neumann, a vintner's daughter, spends her youth making wine with her mother and father, soaking up the Riesling sunshine, growing into a lovely young woman. Here she meets Maximilian Rieger, a wealthy boy whose family owns a nearby villa. They become good friends. But dark clouds roll in on this idyllic life. Maximilian is sent away to boarding school. And Maximilian's father, a ruthless businessman, swindles the vineyard from Helene's father, the town drunk. The vineyard lost, Helene is taken to an orphanage in the slums of Vienna, forced into prostitution, and remains there until she is eighteen. On the darkest day of her life, she finds a seed of hope in a childhood memory and begins her long journey home. But she must first confront Maximilian, who has grown into his father.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:23 -0400)

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