Jeanette's Reviews > The Land of Green Plums

The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller
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's review
Dec 16, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: book-club
Read in February, 2012

The Land of Green Plums was one of the most difficult books I have read in many years. I found that I couldn't read more than 10 pages a day before I put the book down. Part of the problem for me was the style of the book. The author who is also a poet wrote this book in a poetic style that distanced me from the characters and the horror they were living in the Ceausescu police state in Romania. Other book club members pointed out that they thought this was the author's intention, because if you lived in Romania during this time, you could trust no one and never really got to know anyone. There were people every where spying for the government to receive various necessities of life or the privilege to travel out of the country.

The narrator is never given a name. She is a German living in Romania and has moved to the city as had many other young people to try to make a better life for themselves. The novel describes the horrors and terror of these young people living in the city.

I had difficulty putting the number of stars on this book. It should have received at least three stars for the quality of the writing. I did appreciate the her use of language and her ability to create strong feeling. However, I just felt exhausted when I finished reading the book and I felt that I did not need to have read the entire book to appreciate what she was trying to do. Herta Muller has received a Nobel Prize for her body of work. All her books are written in German.

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