Sunday, February 27, 2011

Die Tapetentür

Sometimes, I come across books that I know are very well written, but the main character annoys me so much that I can't really enjoy the book. Homo Faber was such a book and Die Tapetentür (that's a door hidden behind the wallpaper) is similar. Annette, a young woman living alone in a big city, worries constantly: about being alone, about having company, about what people will think and about the fact that she worries about everything. When she meets an older man, marries him and becomes pregnant, she is very happy. At least she tells herself that, but she still worries about loosing that happiness. She is very much yearning for a normal life, but she can't really connect, she's always at a distance.

After reading about half the book, I was ready to grab her and shout at her to stop questioning everything, to just enjoy the moment for once. What I did like were the descriptions of the people Annette meets, she is a very good observer, and the memories and dreams she records in her diary, those passages are very evocative and poetic. There are also occasional observations that just made me laugh out loud. This one is my favourite (my own translation):
Women, as unpleasant as they can be, are much more individual and less vain than men. It's also very rare for a woman to begin, right in the middle of a conversation, unbuttoning your blouse. I like this trait in particular about women.

13th book for the Library Challenge

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