Annie's Reviews > The Post Office Girl

The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig
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Nov 22, 09

Read in November, 2009

This was a most unusual book and a story that'll really stay with me. The Austrian author was a Jewish pacifist who fled to New York + Brazil with the rise of the Nazis, and committed suicide in a pact with his wife: the manuscript was found after his death. This is a story of a young girl who's had life knocked out of her while living in crushing poverty, and who exists through working in a small post office. Her excursion to Switzerland is wonderful - shallow but dazzling people, beautifully written in poetic language, and Christine "lives" at last. But it's followed by a return to the poverty she came from, a new relationship with Ferdinand, and - at the end - some hope of an escape. The afterword makes clear that the book's end may not have been what the author intended, and the book may be an uncompleted one. But the writing is quite beautiful - other than some political rant in the final third which did slightly spoil the book for me. That said, it's incredibly haunting - but maybe not everyone's cup of tea.
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