Scoyphenson's Reviews > The Danish Girl: A Novel

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
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's review
Apr 07, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 07 to 09, 2012

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

David Ebershoff writes a story that is at once tender and heartbreaking, touching with compassion and complete lack of judgment on a topic that stirs confusion in many people even now. The story of Einar Wegener's transformation from man to woman and his wife's generous and wholehearted support of his journey was inspiring to read. With no more than the occasional weariness at having to welcome the unexpected guest who was Einar's emerging persona, Gerta Wegener accepted her husband's sudden need to dress as a woman. Ultimately, it was she who found the doctor who would help Einar complete his transformation to Lili. Their love for each other and perfect acceptance was beautiful to read, even as it became clear that there was no way they could remain together romantically.

If some of the supporting characters were shallowly drawn, the extraordinary nature of the story and the pleasure of reading about Europe and Pasadena in the late 1920s and early 1930s more than made up for it. Ebershoff switched fluidly and flawlessly between feminine and masculine designations as Einar and Lili appeared, which is not an easy feat. I was at once eager and afraid to finish this book, unable to predict whether it would end in triumph or disaster. Well worth reading.

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