A Small Person Far Away
11 journalers for this copy...
"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
- 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
- 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
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Edit to add: Thanks also for the cute little book stickers!
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
Off to Smurphie tomorrow.
Looking forward to continuing this story.
Only sorry that is the last book in the triology.
Away to PM the next participant.
Heading off to the next person in the Ring.
Thanks for sending the book on.
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).
Heading off to the next reader, dodging ash clouds as it travels.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sent to the next ray member on Tuesday, but have only just managed to get onto the computer.
I will send this book and the second one of the series to bookguide sometime this coming week.
I have another recommendation for adult/teen literature about WWII:
'Hitler's Canary' by Sandi Toksvig, about the German occupation of Denmark
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
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
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.