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A Small Person Far Away
by Judith Kerr | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingApoloniaXwing of Lalitpur, Bagmati Nepal on 9/24/2009
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by bookguide): available


11 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingApoloniaXwing from Lalitpur, Bagmati Nepal on Thursday, September 24, 2009

7 out of 10

Blurb:
"I don't want to go back to Berlin", said Anna. But Mama was there and had become dangerously ill. At the height of the Hungary and Suez crisis Anna had to leave her home and her English husband to deal with questions of life and death. In the sad, funny world of those who have survived the holocaust, encircled by threatening Russians, she confronts old fears and old ties and comes to terms at last with the small person far away who was once herself.
Third part of the trilogy, after When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Bombs on Aunt Dainty.

More young adult/teen literature about the holocaust:
"The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne
"Liverpool Street" or "Einundzwanzigster Juli" by Anne C. Voorhoeve (no English translation yet, but if you know German... it's excellent)
"The Wave" by Morton Rhue
Books by Kathy Kacer
and of course Anne Frank's diary 


Journal Entry 2 by wingApoloniaXwing from Lalitpur, Bagmati Nepal on Friday, September 25, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Bookray, following When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, travelling with Bombs on Aunt Dainty:
- Vekiki, UK
- Originalmulli, UK
- Smurphie, UK
- KiwiinEngland, UK
- NMReader USA, thanks for shipping int'l!
(- wamstreet: skipped because of non-response. ETA ... very sadly ... she passed away)
- hakkalina, Hungary, pref ship EU
- abigailann, UK, ship EU (thanks!)
- penelopewanders, Switzerland, ship EU
- grovalskii, Germany, ship int'l
- bookguide, NL = end of ray
The usual:
- Someone will PM you for your address, PM them back and provide your address
- When you receive the books, please make a journal entry letting everyone know that you received them
- Please try to finish both books within two months
- When the end of part 3 is in sight, check the book's journal and PM the next person to get their address
- Make another journal entry and let everyone know what you thought of the books
- Make release notes for both books to let everyone know that they are in the mail
- Send both books together to the next person on the list
If delayed make sure to let us know so that the rays will not stop
 


Journal Entry 3 by wingApoloniaXwing at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Monday, September 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (9/28/2009 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
... travelling to Vekiki now
Happy reading!
Edit: just realised there is a strike.... hope it won't take too long... 


Journal Entry 4 by wingVekikiwing from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

This arrived today - so the strike doesnt seem to of effected it too much! Really looking forward to this - Thanks!

Edit to add: Thanks also for the cute little book stickers! 


Journal Entry 5 by wingVekikiwing at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (10/20/2009 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Well, I didnt enjoy this quite as much as the previous too, but I thought it was a nice conculsion to the story, to see Anna develop and start to deal with her past.

Popped in the post today - hopefully this will get going before the strikes hit later this week 


Journal Entry 6 by Originalmulli from Llandyfriog, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, October 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Got this the day after you posted it - thanks! 


Journal Entry 7 by Originalmulli from Llandyfriog, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, November 08, 2009

9 out of 10

I've found all this trilogy very sad, and this one most of all, to realise how damaged and burdened 'Anna' still felt in later life as she looked back on events of her childhood. I think writing this one must have a been a difficult challenge which she has done really well - she obviously needed to move up from the childlike phrasing and description of the earlier books but she has managed to keep as much as possible the same tone and style so that they all 'go together.' Yet within that simple style she successfully deals with difficult adult topics such as survivor guilt, and the difficulty of ever really putting the past behind you. I think this is brilliantly done - I admire her more than ever. I've just been googling Judith Kerr and seeing what a gorgeous twinkly old lady she is now. I would love to meet her. I must get all her Mog books and start reading them to my daughter.

Off to Smurphie tomorrow. 


Journal Entry 8 by smurphie from Banchory, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Arrived this morning.

Looking forward to continuing this story.
 


Journal Entry 9 by smurphie from Banchory, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, November 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

This book left me wanting to find out more about the story.

Only sorry that is the last book in the triology.

Away to PM the next participant. 


Journal Entry 10 by smurphie at Banchory, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, November 26, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (11/26/2009 UTC) at Banchory, Scotland United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Heading off to the next person in the Ring. 


Journal Entry 11 by kiwiinengland from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Thursday, December 10, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Safely with me. I believe that the second book of this trilogy is also being sent to me so shall read them in order and them post them on.

Thanks for sending the book on. 


Journal Entry 12 by kiwiinengland from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, April 12, 2010

8 out of 10

This book was very interesting, with the look at the long term affects of being an immigrant had on Anna and her mother. I felt it helped answer some of the queries I had in the earlier books which had Anna's mother doing all the practical things to keep the family together yet Anna seemed to idolise/side with her father constantly.

These three books got more interesting as Anna grew up.

(Sorry for holding this book so long, but I didn't receive the second book in the series until the middle of March 2010). 


Journal Entry 13 by kiwiinengland at Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Friday, April 23, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (4/23/2010 UTC) at Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:





Heading off to the next reader, dodging ash clouds as it travels. 


Journal Entry 14 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Monday, May 03, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Arrived while I was in Nashville last week. Looking forward to reading. 


Journal Entry 15 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Sunday, May 23, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I thought an status update would be appreciated

I started this afternoon. I only read a few pages.

June 2: I left this book at home over Memorial Day Weekend. I read some yesterday and am about 1/3 through the book. I hope to finish this week. 


Journal Entry 16 by NMReader at Herndon, Virginia USA on Friday, June 04, 2010

8 out of 10

It amazes me how quickly I finish books I am enjoying.

I finished this book this morning on the elliptical trainer. I would love to learn more about the lifes of Max, Mama, Anna, and Richard.

I really enojyed this trilogy as it told a tale I had never heard before - what happened to people who left early.

I still need the address for the next participant 


Journal Entry 17 by NMReader at Herndon, Virginia USA on Monday, June 07, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (6/7/2010 UTC) at Herndon, Virginia USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Since I did not hear from wamstreet, I am sending this along to hakkalina. I will drop at the PO with Bombs on Aunt Dainty this evening. 


Journal Entry 18 by winghakkalinawing at Budapest, Pest Hungary on Thursday, June 17, 2010

This book has not been rated.

It arrived safely today! Thanks NMReader the sending!

update: 2010.07.20.
I am behind of my reading, but I have already sent the 2nd book.

Sorry. My progress is slowly, not because of the book, rather I can't get away from my problems, so I can't pay attention to the story. I asked ApoloniaX to get another extra week(s) to finish. Present I reckon on the 2nd week of August I will be able to post it on.

update: 2010.08.16.
I reckon "the deadline is over" didn't help at all, I was frustrated to keep the book more than I should have. On the other hand the 2nd book was less interesting than the 1st one to me, so I think it also influenced me. When Anne arrived to Berlin to visit her Mum in the hospital, who had taken pills because of her partner's so-called unfaithfulness. This was the point in the story when I closed the book.

The funny thing is that I don' t know, since I abandoned the reading, that whether this basic assumption is true or not, and he really did it, but the existing of this emotional blackmail story made me uninterested. I simply didn't want to read more.  


Journal Entry 19 by winghakkalinawing at Budapest, Pest Hungary on Monday, August 16, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (8/17/2010 UTC) at Budapest, Pest Hungary

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

The book is travelling to its next reader!  


Journal Entry 20 by abigailann at Abingdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Saturday, August 21, 2010

This book has not been rated.


This book arrived in the post yesterday. For once, I have no pre-existing ring or ray books in my TBR pile, so I've managed to start reading straight away. I hope to send this book on soon. 


Journal Entry 21 by abigailann at Abingdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 25, 2010

4 out of 10


I didn't find this book as interesting as the previous two in the series. It seemed to lack the interesting stuff about fitting in, apart from where it repeated incidents originally told in the other books. The character of Mama seemed rather unrealistic and, although I sympathised with her, Anna didn't seem as interesting. I came away from this book rather disappointed.

PMing for the address now and will send this on with Book no.2 


Journal Entry 22 by abigailann at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, September 05, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (9/5/2010 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:


Sent to the next ray member on Tuesday, but have only just managed to get onto the computer.  


Journal Entry 23 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Wednesday, September 08, 2010

This book has not been rated.

This arrived with the second book in the series- behind a few other rings and rays, so it will have to wait a bit before I get to it. Should be a question of 2-3 weeks though. Thanks so much for sending. 


Journal Entry 24 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

8 out of 10

I was a bit surprised to suddenly find Anna married, and kept wondering if I'd missed a book out in between this and the previous one, but as far as I can tell, no. As a tale of the aftermath of the war this was quite effective. Kerr does a good job of portraying the foibles of ordinary people and the straws they (we) pin their (our)hopes on. I enjoyed this trilogy and was glad of the opportunity to read it. Thanks for making these books available, these last two will follow the trail of the first quite soon. 


Journal Entry 25 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Friday, October 01, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (10/1/2010 UTC) at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Just like the heroine, this book and the previous one in the trilogy, are now on their way to Berlin. Thank you! 


Journal Entry 26 by grovalskii at Zehlendorf, Berlin Germany on Friday, October 08, 2010

This book has not been rated.

just received the book 


Journal Entry 27 by grovalskii at Zehlendorf, Berlin Germany on Sunday, December 26, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Didn't really care for the third book in the series. Still written from the view of Anna, this book made her sound very whiny. (Woe is me, Mama always preferred Max to me). But it was interesting reading about Anna's feelings of being back in Berlin and her worry of Berlin being taken over by the Russians.

I will send this book and the second one of the series to bookguide sometime this coming week. 


Journal Entry 28 by grovalskii at Zehlendorf, Berlin Germany on Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (12/28/2010 UTC) at Zehlendorf, Berlin Germany

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book will go to its last stop on the ray to bookguide in the Netherlands. Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 29 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Thursday, January 06, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safely in Holland today to brighten up a rainy day, together with the second book in the trilogy, 'Bombs on Aunt Daisy'. Thank you, ApoloniaX, for the chance to read it, and Grovalskii for sending it on.

I have another recommendation for adult/teen literature about WWII:
'Hitler's Canary' by Sandi Toksvig, about the German occupation of Denmark  


Journal Entry 30 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

7 out of 10

A Small Person Far Away by Judith Kerr




This book is full of the depth of emotions brought to the surface by the serious, possibly fatal, illness of a parent and the issues which this situation raises. Particularly when the parent lives far away or abroad and difficult decisions may need to be made.

Returning reluctantly to Berlin in about 1953 to visit her sick mother, the semi-autobiographical Anna finds that things are worse than she had expected. Even though Anna was very young when her Jewish family fled Berlin in 1933, she is afraid to go back, especially as there is international tension due to the Russian invasion of Hungary, not to mention the thought of what the Nazis did to the Jews. She is also somewhat reluctant as she is a newly-wed and has just been offered a writing job at the BBC. Anna has a complicated relationship with her mother, who comes across as a rather childish socialite who feels that the world has conspired against her and her life is over at the grand age of 56. Of course, she knows that her father was impractical and her mother had kept the family afloat during their time as refugees, but she also blames her mother for her drama queen tendencies and for the death of her father. This is mixed with guilt for not keeping in touch and for her mixed feelings. When her beloved brother Max arrives, she cannot help feeling jealous of his relationship with their mother and resentful of the way it is assumed she will stay longer with their mother. Max and their mother have always been close and Anna has lost her old confidant, her father, and cannot talk to her husband because of the difficulties of booking long-distance phone calls. However, Anna seems oblivious to the mental similarities she has to her mother, seeming somewhat neurotic herself.

This is a fascinating account of family relationships, the impact being a refugee can have on children and insights into memory and forgetting. Anna has vague memories of living in Berlin, but with time on her hands, she visits almost-forgotten places and finds that she is unable to completely remember. Yet she recognises places and they bring her back to her childhood at a more visceral level, at the level of feeling an emotion, the sense of how it was to be the small person of the title.

"For a moment, as she looked at it [her childhood home], she remembered exactly what it had felt like to do this. It was as though, for a fraction of a second, she had half-seen, half-become the small, fierce, vulnerable person she had once been, with her lace-up boots and socks held up by elastic bands, her fear of volcanoes and of dying in the night, her belief that rust caused blood poisoning, liquorice was made of horses' blood, and there would never be another war, and her unshakeable conviction that there was no problem in the world that Mama could not easily solve.
The small person did not say, "Is Mama home?" She said, "
Ist Mami da?" and did not speak a word of English, and for a moment Anna felt shaken by her sudden emergence."

As the family had moved through several countries before settling in England, the children had been thrown together more than most siblings and there was a wonderful rapport between Anna and Max, mixed of course with the usual sibling rivalry. I love the mention of their trilingual jokes which nobody else understood and Max's private name for Anna. At the end of the book, nothing is really resolved. I wonder if Judith Kerr was planning on writing another book about her family; I would like to know what happened.



View all my Goodreads reviews
 


Journal Entry 31 by bookguide at Strandpaviljoen Zoomers in Castricum, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, July 05, 2014

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (7/6/2014 UTC) at Strandpaviljoen Zoomers in Castricum, Noord-Holland Netherlands

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Taken to the biggest Dutch BookCrossing meeting of the year.

This book has been released as part of the following BookCrossing challenges:
- The Ultimate Challenge - read and release books, with extra points for a monthly theme
- Reduce Mount TBR (To Be Read) - read and release books on the TBR list since before the end of 2013. My reading goal is 36 books.

 


Journal Entry 32 by bookguide at Castricum, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Monday, July 07, 2014

This book has not been rated.

Nobody took this book so I brought it home with me at the end of the meeting. 


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