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Floating in My Mother's Palm (Burgdorf Cycle #2)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,677 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
Floating in My Mother's Palm is the compelling and mystical story of Hanna Malter, a young girl growing up in 1950's Burgdorf, the small German town Ursula Hegi so brilliantly brought to life in her bestselling novel Stones from the River. Hanna's courageous voice evokes her unconventional mother, who swims during thunderstorms; the illegitimate son of an American GI, who ...more
Paperback, 187 pages
Published July 3rd 1998 by Scribner (first published 1990)
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Hegi's Stones from the River is one of those read books whose memory is caught in the mists between pre-GR and post-reviewing, when literary enjoyment was a hobby and any career other than engineering a pipe dream. Like many books I loved before my understanding of them began to yearn towards holism, I will eventually return and pull from it some sense of origin, grounding the sensibilities of a younger self in the analytic soil of an older. I will not indulge in lazy disdain and withering remar ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Apr 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the first published book in Ursula Hegi's "Burgdorf Cycle". I haven't heard the term "cycle" applied to books before, but it certainly makes more sense in this context than does the term series. The events in this book take place after her more well-known Stones from the River.

I would characterize this as more a collection of stories with the narrator and setting the same throughout. Hanna Malter is a young girl who tells of her life and town following WWII when she is perhaps between th
Linda Lipko
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Profoundly insightful, incredibly haunting, both heartbreakingly sad and heartwarmingly charming, lyrical and poetic in dealing with some very difficult life experiences, this book is destined to be one of my top reads of 2011.

In small town post WWII, 1950's Burgdorf Germany, pre-teen Trudy Malter provides insights into colorful characters, rich in history and life experience.

Possessing the soul of her artistic, carefree mother, and the kind, gentleness of her father, Trudy listens to the stor
Sharon Huether
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The honesty and innocence of a child is expressed by the author as Hanna Malter describes her friends and neighbors in a small town in Germany
Life centers around her friend Trudi at the Pay Library, who knows all.
Hanna and her mother are very close and like to take risks.
Hanna does her best to make sense of an uncertain world. She turns out a strong young teen.
Jul 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
Reviewers felt that this book could be read as a sequel to "Stones From the River" (which is one of my all-time favorite books). However, it read more like a series of short stories than an actual novel. Because of this, I felt no connection to the main character, Hanna (I even had to check the book jacket to see what her name was, and I just read the book), and I even felt out-of-touch with the character I had loved so much in "Stones" (Trudi Montag), who has cameo appearances in this book. In ...more
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Absolutely beautiful writing. I actually felt the warmth of the people in the town, and felt their sorrows and pains as well. The relationship Hannah has with her mother is complex and loving. Hegi does an amazing job writing from the perspective of an adolescent girl, and touches on so many cultural post war issues in Germany. I highly recommend this book. The chapters are like small stories about different people in the village, so it's a great bedside book, easy to read a few chapters and put ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Sensitive, poetic, and gently bold. Genre wise, it's right in the middle between a novel and a book of short stories. Although much of the subject matter is deep and often sad/shocking, Hegi's style is sensitive and subtle enough not to overemphasize the drama. The book centers on an adolescent named Hannah's life and the people in her town in post-war Germany, whose lives and stories overlap. Many of the stories feature characters who have certain oddities about them, and while the book is hone ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a pleasant enough story, just not especially simulating. Short and quick. The writing is very nice. For the most part, I did not really have a sense of what the novel was about; I finally decided it was the coming of age of the central character and her relationship with her mother. I have the other book in this cycle, and won't hesitate at all to read it when it comes up.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Looking for a very good quick read? This book is well written and interesting story. More appeal to female than male but a great little book.
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fic-historical
1950s Germany

To my surprise, I liked this little book. Now I'm wondering if I should read Stones from the River again. Maybe I had to get comfortable with the tone of Hegi's writing. The first sentence plunges the reader into Hegi's style:
When my mother entered her tenth month of carrying me, I stopped moving inside her womb.

Overall, the writing is dark, somber. There's no joy or attempt to focus on the positive aspects of life. This book is told from a young girl's POV, and she already views th
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500 Great Books B...: Floating in My Mother's Palm - Ursula Hegi 2 14 Aug 20, 2015 11:13AM  
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  • Cloud Chamber
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  • The Bingo Palace
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  • On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon
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  • Lucia Triumphant (Lucia, #8)
  • Voyage to the Bunny Planet (Voyage to the Bunny Planet, #1-3 Plus Intro)
  • Murder in the Holy City (Sir Geoffrey Mappestone, #1)
  • How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone: The Essential Survival Guide for Dangerous Places
Ursula Hegi is the author of Sacred Time, Hotel of the Saints, The Vision of Emma Blau, Tearing the Silence, Salt Dancers, Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, Intrusions, and Trudi & Pia. She is the recipient of more than thirty grants and awards.
More about Ursula Hegi...

Other Books in the Series

Burgdorf Cycle (4 books)
  • Stones from the River
  • The Vision of Emma Blau
  • Children and Fire
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