Sunday, 26 July 2015

U: The Reunion

Hello once again, my lovely readers! :) I really have read some fantastic books this weekend, and would next like to share with you my thoughts on 'The Reunion', by Fred Uhlman. I have included a link to it's GoodReads page as for some reason it is very difficult to find!

Speaking of things which are difficult to find...did anyone else doing an A-Z author challenge find U exceptionally difficult?! I scoured the entirety of a Waterstones store and came to a grand total of three...Updike, this, and a crime series, of which they didn't have the first instalment, so that was scratched from the list of possibilities. I decided to go for this, as I have had very few dealings with novellas, and the synopsis talks of the beautiful development of a friendship - how can that be done in 74 pages? I was intrigued, so thought I'd give it a go!

This is the story of Hans, a 16-year-old Jew, living in Stuttgart in the 1930s. One day, his first true friend walks into his classroom in the form of Konradin, a Christian. The reader is expertly guided through the development and blossoming of their beautiful friendship in only around 30 pages, but yet it never seems to lack detail.

All of a sudden their friendship is turned upside down by the rise of the Nazis, and the fall in respect for the Jews. Hans suffers with extreme feeling of betrayal as he watches his friend mould into the anti-Semitic views of his family, and he himself is sent to America for safety.

The ending is so delicious and warm-hearted, it made me so happy! True friendship never really goes away, it can just sometimes take a while to find your way back to it when the world is trying to push you off its path. The story is so powerful when it asks the question: why did being a Jew and being German have to become mutually exclusive?

This novella is a great testament to the few words needed to make a powerful and poignant story if those words are expertly chosen. It's a work of art, really.

Do you enjoy reading novellas? Are they always this good?! Can anyone give me recommendations of others I might like? I would love to hear from you :) 

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