At the November German Book Club meeting we will discuss Dörte Hansen's Altes Land
(Penguin Verlag, ISBN: 978-3328100126, € 10,00).
Two women, an old house, and a different kind of family.
The “Polack child” is the five-year-old Vera, who lives on the farm in the marshland of Altes Land, where she settled with her Mother after fleeing from East Prussia in 1945. Her whole life she has felt like a stranger in the large, cold farmhouse, but she can’t seem to leave it. Then one day, 60 years after she moved in, her niece Anne shows up at her door. She and her son have arrived to take refuge from the posh Hamburg-Ottensen, where ambitious yuppie parents parade their children in the streets like trophies, and where Anne’s husband has fallen in love with another woman. Despite their initial estrangement, Vera and Anne discover that they have more in common with each other than they realize.
With a shrewd eye and dry humor, Dörte Hansen tells the story of two loners who are surprised to find what they never sought out: a family.
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