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Ellen Allen Writes

Avid reader. Wild swimmer. Indie Author of The Sham. Collector of writing titbits (http://www.ellenallen.co) and all things bookish...

HausFrau; a brilliant book, mostly

Hausfrau: A Novel - Jill Alexander Essbaum

The first line of a novel should really draw you in and the opening of this book “Anna was a good wife, mostly” had me from the beginning. The writing style felt a little disjointed at first, as if the author wasn’t a native english speaker, or maybe this is intended as it helps the forward momentum. (The story is told through the eyes of an American woman living in Switzerland and part of her lack of belonging is down to her poor german language skills).

 

On the surface, Anna has everything anyone could want – a healthy family and a comfortable life – but underneath, she is struggling to connect with the world around her and throws herself into torrid affairs, partly as a means of running away and partly as a means of punishing herself. The structure of this book is completely in tune with the story it has to tell. It flashes backwards and forwards between the present day and the past (I won’t mention why to avoid any spoilers) as well as with her therapist and in her german classes (where the structure of the german language is used as a wonderful metaphor for Anna’s situation). Totally captivating, awfully heartbreaking and very, very real.

 

**I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://ellenallen.co/2015/02/01/hausfrau-a-brilliant-book-mostly