When the Flowers Died
What begins as a simply told love story between Eli Levin, a Jew, and Rebecca Baum, a Catholic, turns into something sinister when the focus backs away from them and includes the horizon behind them. Germany is splintered. Its parliament can’t agree within itself, and Hitler steps into the void. His Reich is in its nebulous form, growing strength and tearing Germany apart, with no one to stop him.
In spite of familial concern and fear, Eli and Rebecca live together and eventually wed though, toward the end, he can no longer find work in Munich. In desperation, and with the discovery of his wife’s pregnancy, he convinces his parents and siblings to flee to America with forged documents. He and Rebecca plan to follow, as soon as she recuperates from an illness.
To me, this book has an unusual rhythm and cadence in its writing, and sometimes the author uses an odd choice of words. Nonetheless, she creates a world vibrant to the mind and tactile to the emotion. This is intelligently written, well researched, and offers a unique view into prewar Germany.
I was given this book to review, and it stayed with me long after I finished reading it.
March 4, 2010