Friday, 25 April 2014
The East is a part fiction/part autobiographical novel about the author’s own experiences as a young boy growing up in Germany in World War II. Throughout the book is the tragic love story of Wolfgang and Helga, young lovers who try to grow up during this tumultuous time. I found this book fascinating as the author wove his own true story with the fictional aspects. I’ve always wondered how the Germans felt about the horrors of WWII and just how much they knew about what actually went on that wasn’t wartime propaganda. Mr. Schroeder gives various perspectives as he writes about the Kaffeeklatsch girls, a group of women in his town who get together once per week for coffee and company. Each was affected in their own way by the war. At first, as I read the book, I found Mr. Schroeder to be very pro-German but as the book moved along I found out that he was only giving the feelings of the people at that time and he wrote of how things changed as the war progressed. It was truly fascinating to read about civilians in Germany before and during the war as well as the tough times after. He also wrote of the PTSD experienced by the soldiers. I read the book on my ereader and the formatting and editing were perfect. The cover of the book is of a school picture that the author talks about in the book and it gives a good look at the carefree days before the war. This is a book well worth reading!