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Somewhere in Germany

An Autobiographical Novel
Narrated by: Max Roll
Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

Non-member price: $36.20

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Publisher's Summary

Somewhere in Germany is the sequel to the acclaimed Nowhere in Africa, which was turned into the Oscar-winning film of the same name. This novel traces the return of the Redlich family to Germany after their nine-year exile in Kenya during World War II. In Africa, Walter had longed for his homeland and dreamed of rebuilding his life as a lawyer, yet ultimately he and his family - wife Jettel, daughter Regina, and baby Max - realize that Germany seems as exotic and unwelcoming to them in 1947 as Kenya had seemed in 1938. Hunger and desperation are omnipresent in bombed-out Frankfurt, and this Jewish family - especially Regina, who misses Africa the most - has a hard time adjusting to their new circumstances.

Yet slowly the family adapts to their new home amidst the ruins. In Frankfurt, Regina matures into a woman and, though her parents want her to marry an upstanding Jewish man, her love life progresses in its own idiosyncratic fashion. She develops a passion for art and journalism and begins her professional career at a Frankfurt newspaper. Walter at last finds professional success as a lawyer, but never quite adjusts to life in Frankfurt, recalling with nostalgia his childhood in Upper Silesia and his years in Africa. Only his son Max truly finds what Walter had hoped for: A new homeland in Germany.

Although the Redlichs receive kindness from strangers, they also learn anti-Semitism still prevails in post-Nazi Germany. They partake in the West German "economic miracle" with their own home, a second-hand car, and the discovery of television, but young Max's discovery of the Holocaust revives long-buried memories. Rich in memorable moments and characters, this novel portrays the reality of postwar German society in vivid and candid detail.

©2006 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • David
  • 06-10-2019

Spared from direct horror?

This book was a recounting of a family racked by guilt who faced that guilt by returning to Germany to face the monster that caused so much pain called the Holocaust. Even though they suffered by facing the enemy, they could never quite come to grips with that reality
That is what I got from this magnificent book
Could never quite imagine why a Jewish father would expose his family voluntarily to the antisemitism of Germany voluntarily. It seems a kind of punishment for surviving when so many did not

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  • Andrea
  • 05-04-2019

Great Sequel to a great read

I enjoyed every minute of Nowhere in Africa. It was one of those books that you didn’t want to end. So what a delight to discover that there was a sequel! I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next to Regina and her family. This book lived up to every expectation and I was as entranced from start to finish as I was when reading Nowhere in Africa. The story is beautifully written and I think the narrator is perfect. He really brings the characters to life and is spot on with the various accents. I know I will return to both of these books again as I do when I have really enjoyed an excellent read/listen.

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  • Eric
  • 18-07-2014

Schizophrenic-but not entertaining "Sybil" variety

What disappointed you about Somewhere in Germany?

I wanted to glimpse life in post-war Germany. The book was successful in such a glimpse. Unfortunately, it felt like she took a diary and tried to weave it with a related historic novel. We were introduced to characters over and over who were then left undeveloped. I wanted to know more about Martin, I wanted to know why Schlahinski was arrested, what came of the arrest, how he ended up free. I wanted to better know her thoughts on sleeping with her boss and how that affected her faith and her soul. Did it go on forever? How did she break it off? Only a handful of numerous unanswered questions.

What could Stefanie Zweig have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

She should have abandoned the diary and written a historic novel.

Did Max Roll do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Max did a reasonable performance - I would listen to him again.

Any additional comments?

Look elsewhere for you post war snapshot of life.