Stevens ist Butler. Er fügt sich in die Diener-Rolle, für die er erzogen wurde. In dem RomanWas vom Tage übrig blieb erzählt Kazuo Ishiguro die Geschichte eines Mannes, für den Würde gleichbedeutend ist mit Funktionieren. Dessen Tugenden Loyalität, Haltung und Beherrschtheit sind. Und der mit dem Ende einer Ära kämpft, in der er mehr war als das traditionell englische Inventar eines Herrenhauses.
Im Juli 1956 tritt Stevens nach langen Dienstjahren eine Reise an. Vom Anwesen Darlington Hall in Oxfordshire fährt er nach Cornwall. Er ist auf dem Weg zu Miss Kenton, die früher, in den 20er und 30er Jahren, Haushälterin in Darlington Hall war. Auf seiner Reise erinnert Stevens sich. An eine Liebe, von der er nie wusste, dass er sie empfand und an eine Zeit vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, als wichtige Persönlichkeiten in Darlington Hall ein und aus gingen.
„So viele Dinge sind für ein Kind selbstverständlich. Mit der Zeit fängt man dann an, sich zu wundern.“
Fräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee, Peter Høeg
Der RomanFräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee des dänischen Autors Peter Høeg erzählt eine Geschichte von Sehnsucht, Einsamkeit und Verlust. Die Leben der durchweg schwierigen Charaktere sind auf die eine oder andere Weise von der politisch und sozial schwierige Beziehung zwischen Grönland und Dänemark geprägt. Gleichzeitig ist das Buch ein spannender Krimi, eine unglaublich dichte Erzählung mit viel – und wie ich finde sehr klugem – Inhalt.
Oh my, I marked so many passages in this one. The Fountains of Silence, written by Rita Sepetys, takes place in Spain 1957 during the Franco-Regime. Daniel, a young aspiring photojournalist from Dallas, visits Madrid with his Spanish mother and American father. He has just graduated from Highschool and is never seen without his camera. Talented as he is, he wants to attend Journalism School, a dream which his father, who successfully deals with oil, disapproves of. So, in Madrid, capital city of a country under a dictatorship, Daniel collects pictures to hand in at the Magnum Photography Prize. Winning the competition could pave his way to photojournalism.
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker is the first book in a trilogy telling a story about a bunch of strong young women. And the seas. And, because it is a fantasy novel, it is also about blood and weapons, pistolfights and a surpressing enemy. But first of all, it is about friendship so deep it equals sisterhood.
Caledonia Styx is captain of her own ship, the Mors Navis, and leads a crew of fifty-something girls (spoiler alert: the exact number changes more than once throughout the book) who are at least as reckless and determined as herself. But she has not come there easily. At age 14, she showed mercy to the wrong person which cost her family their lives. Now, years later, she wishes for revenge – and is willing to give a lot for it.
“Remember when they call you girl, they’re trying to tell you something. They’re trying to tell you that they’re more than you, that the body you’re in makes you less. But you know, and I know, that you’re exactly what you need to be.”
Sometimes, we all have to step out of your comfort zone – and this blog has to, too. As computer games provide similar worlds to escape to as books do, especially in times like this, I thought to feature them here would be a good idea. So, thanks to my friend Vicky who unlike me knows her way around many fantastic worlds on the screen, for taking the time and writing a guest post about gaming in times of social distancing. I hope you enjoy this slightly different turn. Rebekka
Who would have thought? Only a few weeks ago, who would have thought, that we would be spending the beginning of spring indoors, not allowed to see any friends, in fear of a new virus that threatens the weakest in our society? But as it is, people all around the globe have had to find ways to entertain themselves in this time of crisis. And what better way is there to pass the time than playing a few videogames? Gamers everywhere – me included – are racking up the hours, rediscovering old favourites and finding new flames. But anyone can enjoy videogames, so dust off the old computer or PlayStation and give it a try! And if you need a little inspiration, here are my current and all-time favourites.
When I first heard about Leigh Bardugo’s first Adult Fantasy novel Ninth House, the Ivy League setting at Yale University paired with the author’s name on the cover were enough to convince me of reading it. And, given this information alone, I already would have expected a good story. But Leigh Bardugo adds magic to the College setting, letting Yale’s secret societies seem even more secretly and mysterious. The mention of magic and mysteries in the blurb made me want to read Ninth House even more. In contrast to the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, King of Scars, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, which are all set in the fantastic world of the Grishaverse, Ninth House is a Fantasy novel set in a more realistic but not less creative environment.
“They would ingest a little bit of arsenic every day. It made their skin clear and their eyes bright and they felt wonderful. And all the while they were just drinking poison.“
Normal People by Sally Rooney has been described as „the most enjoyable novel of the year“ by the Daily Telegraph. And indeed: I could hardly put it down — until I definitely needed a break near the story’s end because it was just too much. Too much sadness and missing that hit my very personal mark. For me, Rooney’sbook was not enjoyable in the pleasant way one might expect reading this sentence on the cover of a book. It did not make me laugh, but it made me think. It was like a tornado of hurt that got hold of me. Gripping, interesting. A deep and intense story with intense characters. An emotional rollercoaster ride full of mental abysses and missing people though running towards them at full speed. Which the book description did not prepare me for and which I did not associate with the term „enjoyable“. Normal People got hold of me and I willingly gave myself to it. But I did not enjoy this book in the common sense of the expression.
„Die Wahrheit ändert nichts an dem, was man für einen anderen Menschen empfindet. Das ist ja die Krux mit den Gefühlen.“
Die Wahrheit über den Fall Harry Quebert, Joël Dicker, S. 680
Aurora, eine Kleinstadt an der Ostküste der USA, die die Öffentlichkeit ohne die verhängnisvollen Ereignisse vom Sommer 1975 niemals bemerkt hätte. Harry Quebert, ein gefeierter Schriftsteller, in dessen Garten die Leiche eines seit 33 Jahren vermissten Mädchens gefunden wird. Und sein Schüler, Marcus Goldman, mittlerweile ebenfalls erfolgreicher Schriftsteller, der sich auf die Suche nach der Wahrheit macht. Dazwischen Lektionen über das Schreiben, das Leben und das Boxen. Über ein Meisterwerk. Und schließlich gleich mehrere, mehr oder weniger gute, Bücher im Buch. Das alles auf über 700 Seiten und trotzdem in keinem einzigen Satz langweilig.
She sometimes said “I don’t know,“ even when she did know. What she meant was that it was more comfortable to stay in vagueness than to leave it.
The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer, p. 19
Bold as its strikingly colorful cover suggests, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer is an ode to being a woman, to purpose, dedication and passion. It tells a story about how life often leads ambitious young people ways they certainly would not have chosen for themselves in the beginning.
Young and rather shy Greer Kadetsky is a freshman at a College she does not want to be at when she meets the charismatic and fascinating feminist Faith Frank. At age sixty-three, Faith has been part of the US women’s movement for years. Greer, who is one of plenty of girls who have recently been harassed by a fellow student, is instantly drawn toward the elegant woman and seeks her advice. Though deeply in love with her high school boyfriend Cory, hearing Faith speak inspires Greer to search for a different kind of purpose and fulfillment.
Includes spoilers for Caraval. None for Legendary.
I picked up Legendary by Stephanie Garber because I loved its prequel, Caraval. Dense and colourful with bright and dark magic, enchantment and people who are not what they pretend to be, the game Caraval provides a world characters as well as readers can escape to, get lost and loose a bit of themselves in.
Nevertheless, I was a little skeptical in view of Legendary at first. Though Caraval ended with enough of a cliffhanger to make me want to read on about the sisters Scarlett and Donatella Dragna’s adventures, I could not get to like the idea of the series‘ main character changing. Because, while cautious and guarded Scarlett had been Caraval’s protagonist, this was about to change in Legendary. Here, her sister Donatella would have her turn.