An Ultimate Book Love In Five Acts By Daniela Krien

I was happy to see Daniela Krien’s beautifully enveloped love in five acts on my Twitter timeline at the end of last year. I had read the haunting Someday We’ll Tell Each Other Everything in 2015, which feels like an eternity – before Brexit, before Trump, and before the recent times. Krien was born in the GDR and was a teenager when the wall fell, as were the five women who are the protagonists of her new novel, which explores what it means to be a woman in Twenty-First Century Germany.

She saw the world around her differently now, noticing details she had overlooked before, always awaiting bigger and bigger things

Paula is a bookseller who, after the passed away of her daughter and the subsequent breakup of her marriage, seems to have finally found happiness with a new partner and no longer has to call her best friend Judith when grief overtakes her. A busy GP who prefers spending precious free time riding her beloved mare rather than wasting it with hopeful carriers, Judith scans dating app profiles, an Expert at reading between her lines, impressed by the love she feels between a dying woman and her husband.

One of her patients, Brida, is a writer frustrated by her children’s interruptions, who longs for reconciliation with Götz, but realizes that desire is best in her writing. Götz had left Malika heartbroken when he came to live with Brida, with all the possibilities of the long-awaited child she had hoped for, something she had never fully recovered from. At her mother’s birthday party, Jorinde tells Malika that she is pregnant with her third child, conceived by her lover, not her husband, and asks Malika if she would raise the child as her own. Malika refuses, but after offers a solution that works for everyone, until Jorinda’s husband intervenes.

The physiognomy of the people they met remained in his memory. The West washed the traces from people’s faces, the East etched them.

Each section of Krien’s carefully constructed novel is dedicated to one of these five very different women whose lives are connected, sometimes in ways not-known to them. As the title suggests, love and what it means for each of them is Krien’s cross-cutting theme, whether venereal, family or parental, as well as his perceived role in society. The background stories of women are carefully described, the complications of their lives skillfully unfolded. The small details of each of their stories illuminate relationships with others and skillfully connect them with each other. These are women who, like Krien, were teenagers when the Berlin Wall fell. For some, the past is still big – Malika and Jorinda’s father loudly sings the praises of the former GDR to everyone who listens to him. Now, in middle age, they are faced with a variety of choices and restrictions, each in his own way copes with the freedom denied to his parents. An impressive piece of fiction that, especially in the end, is fun and makes you think. It’s always worth looking up Jaimie Bulloch’s name.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.