Apr 24, 11
georg (because he could read it in German!)
Read in April, 2011
** spoiler alert **
This book is like the vitamins you buy but never end up taking even though you know they're good for you. This book had been through 3 changes of address before I cracked it open. Interesting title by a highly regarded though not widely read 19th c. German writer on a subject familiar to the majority of long marrieds: happily married couple becomes satisfyingly enough married couple to dissolution. Within 20 pages I quickly deduced that this was a marriage quite possibly more boring than my own where at least I can feel some air on my face. Mired in endless court scenes, highly nuanced looks of longing substitute for physical action. It was only reading the Afterword that drove me to finish. Fontane is such a subtle writer that when the pivotal scene finally occurs you're not really sure it has. The book gains momentum in the final 50 pages and Ebba's speech refusing the over confident Holk is a timeless laser beam. And the lovely, dogmatic Christine, a martyr all the way to her self-induced end.....