This is the devastating opening of die Mittagsfrau by Julia Franck which won the German Book Prize in and was published in English as. Heffernan, Valerie () Julia Franck, Die Mittagsfrau: Historia Matria and Matrilineal Narrative. In: Emerging German-Language Novelists of. Julia Franck is a German writer. Contents. 1 Life; 2 Literary works; 3 Family connections Her three most recent novels, Lagerfeuer, Die Mittagsfrau, and Rücken an Rücken, as well as the collection Grenzübergänge, engage explicitly with.

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And Helene becomes more and more silent towards the end of the book- though it was her emotional detachment which struck me more.

Franck’s novel is a thought-provoking and, at times, unsettling and disturbing story of one person’s deep love and loss, loneliness and rejection, responsibility and neglect, and the desperate, sometimes incomprehensible, mittagsffau to survive.

Loyal to each other throughout their lives, the love mtitagsfrau share asks too much but when their is nothing else, they surrender to each other. The result is a tension that carries through the book and makes the narrative so compelling. I couldn’t care less about this woman and I was angry that she repeated her own mother’s faults.

The book is filled with pain and abandonment of all sorts and says a lot about the human condition; I’m glad I read the book in small installments Julka Blindness of the Heart is a dark novel that begins with a woman abandoning her young son then backtracks to show how life has rendered her unable to care for her son, even as she treats patients, as nurse.

Julia Franck, Die Mittagsfrau: Historia Matria and Matrilineal Narrative

The francl are a couple devoted to each other, but not as involved with their daughters, the only children who survive. In a way, the novel effectively provides the back story to the young mother and aims to clarify if not justify why a young mother abandons her beloved child after all they have been through together.


Peter tilted his head back and looked up to his father.

One factor I found fascinating was the details of the nurses and their struggles in Germany. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The father is injured in that war and makes his way home while the family is marginally surviving. Aunt Fanny is in full-swing of the twenties decadence, throwing wild parties, dating young men and developing a nasty cocaine habit.

Eventually I found this was a really slow book; after the ‘prologue’, which was actually a scene from the end of the story, it then took time to really get going. As her shifts grow longer and longer Peter is left alone and in precarious care. Yet, the cover panders to the female reader and in doing so, does a disservice to the novel itself.

The sisters, daughters of mittabsfrau mentally ill Jewish mother and a German father, move to Berlin to follow their dreams, and find everything but. This article about a German writer or poet is a stub. Lagerfeuer is set in the West Berlin refugee camp Berlin-Marienfelde in the mittasfrau and follows four main characters, one of whom, Nelly Senff, has fled East Berlin with her two young children.

We have to intuit Helene’s growing alarm, but she herself mentions nothing until she receives a proposal of marriage. Am terminat cartea cu un oftat plin de tristete. Notify me of new posts via email. In many ways, we know they are already as good as gone.

Julia Franck – Wikipedia

In a crowded train station inas throngs of Germans flee to the West, Helene tells her seven-year-old son to sit on a bench and wait while she goes to the bathroom, but she never returns. For me, the ability to beautifully write on something that one has no first-hand experience is a mark of a good novelist.

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Can you see under my skin too, little angel? But Helene is stunned when he dies, and it is in this numbness that the culminating events of the novel take place. But because Franck’s style is direct, the translation might have been less challenging than other works contending for spots on the shortlist.


Franck sets the book from World War 1 through the end of World War 2, establishing parallels between societal breakdowns and personal problems. In actuality, it covers the life of Helene Wurisch with an intimate, unflinching eye that mulia her experience of love from family to lovers in all its promise and cruelty.

Marthe carries on her profession as a nurse and Helene works at a pharmacist by day and studies for her nursing qualification by night. I really don’t mind drama in a book, terrible things happen, but I at least want to sympathize with one character and there was just nothing to hold on to.

We see dje mixture of German and Jewish people who will be divided over time and how these two economically marginal sisters have to make a life in this craziness. In the devastating opening scene, a woman named Helene stands mjttagsfrau her seven-year-old son in a provincial German railway station inamid the chaos of civilians fleeing west.

The novel opens and closes from the close third person point-of-view of Helene’s young son, Peter. It was also a big help for me that I read The Burden of Guilt: So now I am trying again.

Julia Franck instructs through omission as much as she does the details. Do you know what’s underneath the ribs here? I also question whether it should be necessary to read an interview to understand the personal nature of the writing. So on the one hand this is a milieu where women work and are not necessarily dependent on fathers or husbands- but a working world in which gender roles are very definitely circumscribed.

I read through some of the reviews for this book. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Ultimately, The Blindness of the Heart.