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Distant Signs

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Distant Signs is an intimate portrait of two families spanning three generations amidst turbulent political change, behind and beyond the Berlin Wall. In 1960s East Germany, Margret, a professor's daughter from the city, meets and marries Hans, from a small village in Thuringia. The couple struggle to contend with their different backgrounds, and the emotional scars they ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 21st 2019 by Neem Tree Press (first published August 20th 2013)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  24 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Very slow but beautifully written literary fiction that made no sense to me.
We follow Margret and Hans, their parents and later their children. There are hints we're in Germany, but really, this could have been anywhere.
Each chapter moves the timeline up a few years, which made me miss events. Suddenly the couple has two children? Suddenly someone returns from hospital after trying to take their own life? Somehow the Iron Curtain disappeared and now the daughter lives in France?
We basically get
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anne Richter grew up in East Germany and was 16 at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her novel, Distant Signs is a beautiful and thought-provoking study of relationships, and how people can be affected by the political landscape and their social standing.

Despite its length (just 240 pages), this is not a quick read. The author's in-depth detailed construction of character deserves to be savoured and not rushed. I was totally committed to both Hans and Margret, along with the supporting
gwendalyn _books_
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Distant Signs, Is an intimate depiction of three generations and two families as the unfolds from 1965 to 1992. The author,s moving storyline covers the effects of WWII, the German Democratic Republic and eventually the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The author precision narration along with well constructive character development kept me engaged
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thoughts behind the characters are shared. So, I’m privy to the layers of thoughts and feelings behind the words and actions. However, there is an absence of completeness. What I mean is the characters don’t fully complete the thought pattern behind the feeling. So, if there is a feeling of sadness, that sadness is not addressed but pushed back. Each of them are affected by World War II. Even the family members who were born afterwards. Those who were living during the war are emotional ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Three generations have lived behind the Berlin Wall in East Germany. Hans and Margaret are a young couple who met in the 1960's in East Germany. Due to each of their parents experiences during the War, they have very different backgrounds and beliefs. These experiences plus the regulations of living in East Germany place a lot of stress on their relationship. As time goes on, each generation deals with the complications of East Germany in different ways, often clashing and challenging the ...more
Babette Ernst
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nach dem Lesen des Buches habe ich über den Titel nachgedacht, der nicht augenfällig im Zusammenhang mit dem Inhalt steht. In diesem geht es um zwei Protagonisten, ein Ehepaar, beide Kriegskinder mit mehr oder weniger traumatisierten Eltern, die, wie auch Eltern und die Tochter in wechselnden Kapiteln jeweils aus ihrer Sicht Ausschnitte ihres Lebens erzählen. Die fremden Zeichen habe ich als Eigenschaften, als Zeichen der Fremdheit gedeutet, die man nach Brüchen und Schicksalsschlägen auch in ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very beautiful story as told in first person by the author 1st person is my favorite genere.
This a very deep read and thought provoking detail about GDR, the post war and the fall of the wall in Berlin.
I well remember when the wall came down in Berlin and the political aspects that surrounded it. I was 21 that year. I couldn't imagine how the people of Germany felt about that after being separated for a long time.
I think I really liked the scene that opens in the beginning. The relationship
Translator Monkey
This was a lovely book that will take a good amount of space in my head and a good amount of time to really come to grips with what it's all about. There are more walls in our lives than those made of rebar and concrete, and there are more ways than sledgehammers to bring them down. Generations impact each other, both up and down. I don't know that I've read a more moving piece of postwar German fiction - and this includes Gunter Grass's best efforts. This was almost alarming in the subtlety of ...more
Katelyn Spedden
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I did not finish this novel and I'm sorry to say that. It had a promising premise because I've read very few books that center around Germany after the war. Add in the fact that it spans different time frame and different people I wanted so much to come from it. But there was a problem, The book was too hard to get into. It felt a bit like stream of consciousness writing in the beginning and while it does help you get to know who the narrator is when it's done well it just left me a bit ...more
Carmen María Pérez
This exquisite novel is a depiction of two families covering three generations amidst tempestuous political change. Margret and Hans, the middle generation and the main characters, struggle to contend with their different backgrounds, and the emotional scars they bear from childhood in the aftermath of WWII. Many segments of the narrative are full of tension, historical restrictions, and family misunderstandings. The plot covers aspects of WWII, the German Democratic Republic and the fall of the ...more
Elisabeth P. Comet Readings
I was so happy to join the blog tour for Distant Signs with HFVBT. What caught my attention first was the theme that sounded familiar (I mastered in Germany literature) and the fact I lived in Thuringen.

With Distant Signs, Anne Richter created a deep story with well-written characters and beautiful prose. Even if I found the first chapter a little slow, the rest of the story lives up to every promise thanks to a storyline written with precision and depth of understanding.

Thanks to the author and
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Distant Signs. I thought this was a beautiful story. It was interesting getting a look at what life was like for those living in East Germany after World War II and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was intrigued with this important part of history. Miss Richter has written a compelling read that I could not put down.
I give Distant Signs five plus stars. I believe this book is a must read for readers who love history.
I received this book from the publisher. This review
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May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this look at three generations of a familiy and how they were effected by WWII. It was an entertaining read. I hope to read more from this author soon.

I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it
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