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Aimee and Jaguar
 
by
Erica Fischer
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Aimee and Jaguar

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,968 ratings  ·  67 reviews
In the Berlin of 1942, Lilly Wust was married to a soldier and was the mother of four children. Her quiet domestic life was forever changed when she met and fell in love with Jewish Felice Schragenheim. Aimee and Jaguar, as the two called one another, embarked on an ecstatic affair, exchanging letters and poems and even signing a marriage contract. After only a year, their ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published 2008 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New Ed edition (24 Oct 1996) (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eva
Although I agree with all the criticisms lobbed at this book by other reviewers below, I nonetheless give it 5 stars because it fascinated me, due simply to the heartbreaking, scandalous, and improbable tale underlying it.

As others have written, Aimee may be flighty and appear not take the plight of her lover seriously, but I feel it is easy to judge her retrospectively. I don't believe she behaves differently than many people in the throes of a deep infatuation; however, given that she is infat
...more
Anja
it was amazing.. I came to this book from the movie, and while I started to read it imagining the actresses of the movie as the characters in the book, I ended up with having the real pictures of Aimée and Jaguar in my head while reading (there are heartbreakingly good photos of them at the end of the book). at times it was tough, cause even though I knew how this tragic story was gonna end, I was still hoping, together with Aimée. the most tragic thing about this book though is that Jaguar's fa ...more
Alaina
I put off reading this book for six years, because I expected to be emotionally devastated. The story should be devastating. I'm not sure why, when I finally read it, I more or less responded with an emotional shrug. Is it the poor translation? Perhaps the original author was a less-than-compelling writer? I cannot pinpoint it. I suspect the answer may lie in the epilogue, where Erica Fischer tells about her experience researching the book. She was frustrated, eventually even hostile towards the ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
The World War II time period is one of my favorites to read about and study, so I was very curious to read this title. While I do not think the author's writing was very good (quite dry and boring), the story was astounding. In none of my other reading, courses or film watching have I heard a story from a similar lens. The lesbian angle is new of course, but so were all of the details about the Jews who managed to keep living underground (as it were) in Berlin throughout the conflict.

Much of the
...more
Matthew
As with any WWII story involving a Jewish person living in Germany, it's bound to be sad. I felt connected to the characters, but the author's style really made this a tough read. The story was set up like a documentary, only in book form. There would be bits of prose, excerpts of diaries and letters and then straight dialogues from interviews. These elements were not synthesized in a way that made reading it enjoyable.
This is a story of a young German mother who meets a Jewish woman and begins
...more
Oriana
Aug 26, 2010 Oriana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lesbian-or-not, having-loved-and-lost
What I liked: reading about the microuniverse that included Lilly, Felice and the people in immediate vecinity in the times of war and pain. I found it interesting to see what an impact this damn war has on a smaller scale, on the life of INDIVIDUALS. I think we might have just got used to the tragedies expressed numerically and we're sorry, we're shocked by the high numbers of lost and shattered lives, but i feel it's not a 100% comprehension of what those numbers mean. They are lives, like tho ...more
Rachael Eyre
I've wanted to read this for years- I came across the story in a magazine and found it heartbreaking. So to say I feel disillusioned is something of an understatement.

My 3 star rating is solely for the love story and the girls themselves. What I found very difficult to swallow was the author's clear dislike/disdain for Lily- a nice attitude for a biographer! Yes, I can understand her anger towards Germans of the period, but seeing as Lily went some way towards redeeming herself, I found her host
...more
Chueca
A summer read that did not disappoint. I loved loved loved Aimee and Jaguar's dedication to one another through the medium of letters. I am so thankful these survived to give the story the unique taste of the past. LETTERS! I wish more people wrote letters, they are such a real declaration of the present moment what ever that moment maybe. I have to go further and say they the movie that is based on this book is also really great. But, the book is a MUST. What brave women they are to have loved ...more
Tamika Caston
Stunning memoire regarding love found during the Holocaust between a Nazi's wife and a Jewish woman on the run.
Rachael Kossy
Told mostly through love letters, personal accounts, and historical background, Aimee and Jaguar reads more like a jumpy documentary than a pull-you in love story. While all the primary sources proved interesting in and of themselves, I sometimes felt like the way the author arranged them didn't serve the story well. Certain names and accounts were lost in the sea of documents. That said, by the second half I felt more connected to Lilly and Felice as a couple. Although it is a heart-wrenching t ...more
Paula Rothman
Like many women, I DID, like Aimee, choose to live a lesbian lifestyle, later in life. It's a complicated choice and even more challenging to negotiate in Germany during WW II. Jaguar was Jewish and went underground for most of the war. There's a LOT of emotional chaos in this book, two women, after all. And, as for many lesbians, pain, while they try to piece together their lives with each other in a violently antagonist political and social climate. Harrowing excitement, pathos, it will stretc ...more
Pantoffel Held
Summary
This book is based on a true story and my copy does contain a lot of photos, documents and letters of that time.
The story is set in 1943 in Nazi Germany. It evolves around two women who couldn’t possibly be more different. On the one hand there is Lilly Wust, unburdened, naive, married to a german soldier, mother and housewife and on the other hand there is Felice Schragenheim, brave, ballsy, snappy, out of the closet lesbian and above all...a jewish woman desperately trying to survive i
...more
Sally
This book was not really all that I was expecting. Of course the story is heartbreaking and so unfair, but the writing itself was rather dry and I found the epilogue to be both extraneous and disrespectful.

It was difficult to get into at first, as there were bits of the "story" as written by Fischer mixed with notes from Lilly Wust herself, and then from other people; and then all the letters and poems (I don't do poems, I'm afraid I skipped most of them)... it was just oddly put together! And t
...more
Cindy75
Real thrilling true story during World War II, this love was real strong between the two women and very dangerous, the origins of Lilly Wust (Juliane Köhler), married and the mother of four sons, enjoy the privileges of her statute as an exemplar of Nazi motherhood falls in love for the other woman, Felice Schragenheim (Maria Schrader), a Jewess and member of the underground, Their love fuels her with the Hope that she will survive.


I recommend the first book to focus this literature to read and
...more
Nicole
"Aimée and Jaguar" is a very unusual lovestory about two woman in Germany during the second world war.
Alice Urchin
This was truly a sad and beautiful story. It contains a lot of letters and first person accounts of the lives of Felice, a young Jewish woman in Nazi Germany, and Elizabeth, her Aryan lover who hid her from the Gestapo. Aside from the tragic love story, I also found it to be an interesting perspective on World War II. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the German perspective on the war (a non-Jewish, anti-Nazi German perspective, in particular) or any romantic in need of a good cry.
Marja
Read it in Swedish, so I might've missed some of the fanciest nuances (doubt it, though). The text quotes one too many a forlorn love letter, and the character of "Aimée", or Lilly Wust, with her lightheartedness in the face of danger to her lover, made me cast the book aside for a year before finishing it. I'm glad the author included the editorial note about her attitude towards Lilly at the end, though I suspect the annoyance might've been due to actual frivolosity of the historical character ...more
Jen
I'm not usually that into historical non-fiction. I know I should be, so I typically read 2-3 a year, like eating literary broccoli. Aimee and Jaguar was a pleasant surprise! This is a compelling and educational read about two female lovers set against the backdrop of Nazi Germany. I laughed, I cried, I kept turning the pages well after my bedtime...
Laura
This title just popped up as a "recommended" book for me, and I read it years ago. At the time I really liked it and it started me on a path of reading more non-fiction books on the topic of WWII and a few memoirs too. If you're interested in reading about a lesbian couple, you'd like this book.... there are photos and personal letters included.
Annisa
This was the first WWII non fiction book that I read, and while I think the author did not do justice to the story, I still feel the story is too compelling to ignore. Beautiful, if slightly cheesy, poems adorn the book, and it inspires me to keep a 'book of tears' if I ever have the chance to be involved in such a drama. Important.
Nisa
This was the first WWII non fiction book that I read, and while I think the author did not do justice to the story, I still feel the story is too compelling to ignore. Beautiful, if slightly cheesy, poems adorn the book, and it inspires me to keep a 'book of tears' if I ever have the chance to be involved in such a drama. Important.
Sarah D
The author didn't do this story justice! Should have been much more heart breaking and emotional but she tells the story in such a matter-of-fact way. The cool thing about this book is reading the actual love letters and poems that Aimée and Jaguar wrote to each other when Jaguar is in the concentration camp.
Wendy Kobylarz-Chouvarda
I wanted to like this book more than I did because, well, lesbianism and WW II - two topics I seem unable to get enough of. Maybe it's the translation. I read this almost ten years ago and the overall impression is one of a slow-moving story with not nearly the depth I appreciate in a good story, true of fiction.
Sue
My three star rating comes mostly from the writing. (The story itself was very compelling). I don't know if the flow of writing was literally lost in translation but it was hard to follow at times since the author jumped from narrative to interviews to letters to poems. Overall, I liked the book a great deal
Cynthia Kane
I had seen the film some years ago and found it to be an interesting, moving story, but the book was not as compelling. Maybe as Lily/Aimee did not come across as sympathetic in the book. And I felt we never really got to know Felice/Jaguar here. Still fascinating tale in the midst of WWII Berlin.

Alisha
Factually, the book was very interesting. The writing style was very clipped and dry, however, so if you're expecting a "love story" like a romance novel, you won't find it. It does give the reader a different look into Nazi Germany during the Holocaust than most accounts I have read. All in all, not bad.
Rachel
This is the love story of two women during world war two berlin and the challenges they must face. not only is this great because it is based on a true story but it also gives you a lot of historical insight on what life was like for gays and lesbians during that time. I loved loved loved it.
sheena
kinda cheesy and very sad---- but i love the photos and copies of their letters. also, while it wasn't a major topic of the book, it was interesting to read about germans who converted to judaism post wwII. i also appreciated the interview and eyebrow raising fischer does at the end.
Krista
kind of a hard read, but worth it. i read a huge chunk of it while in the bathtub at my sister's over christmas a few years ago and cried my eyes out. if you haven't seen the movie, you should do that too. couple of hot chicks making out even during the holocaust is pretty darn sexy.
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Mostly Lesfic: * Aimee & Jaguar - October 2012 72 41 Oct 27, 2012 07:56AM  
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Das kurze Leben der Jüdin Felice Schragenheim: "Jaguar", Berlin 1922 - Bergen-Belsen 1945 Aimée & Jaaguar: Armastuslugu. 1943. Berliin Himmelstrasse: Geschichte meiner Familie Droga do nieba Die Liebe Der Lena Goldnadel: Judische Geschichten (German Edition)

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