I have no clue why I wanted to read this novel. The cover is not really what I call a beautiful design but somehow it spoke to me. And after reading the summary I was curious enough and asked for it. I am still trying to figure out what exactly it was that got me. The wonderfully created figures or the way how the author duo describes the setting or was it the dialogues? I cannot tell what it is that is fascinating to me about this story. But one thing I know. The author duo has touched a nerve and given me some wonderful reading moments. This book is one of the few ones that doesn´t need a loud voice to be heard.

Die Frauen Vom Lindenhof-Ein Neuanfang Für Uns
by Katharina Oswald
Die Lindenhof Saga #1
Publisher Fischer TB on January 25, 2023
Genre Novel
Pages 459
Format Paperback
Source Fischer TB

There is magic in every new beginning.
Hohenlohe 1953: After the death of her father, Marianne, her mother, and her little sisters can barely make ends meet. The old carpentry shop, once the pride of the family, is falling into disrepair. But Marianne does not want to surrender to fate. She loves the smell of the workshop too much, the gentle warmth of the wood under her fingers. She wants to rebuild the family business and dare something completely new. But who do you trust as a woman in these times? Marianne has to fight for her dream. But then she falls in love with the traumatized war returnee Alexandre of all people...
After the war, Marianne wants to rebuild her father’s carpentry to finish the doll house and use it to create her own doll furniture. But as a woman, no bank is giving her the money she needs to fix the roof or to buy wood. But when her mother tells her about her grandfather's past, she starts to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I really like how this book draws attention with soft tones. Yes, there is also a character here who causes trouble and upset, and yes, after a short time, she got on my nerves a lot. But the rest of the story is absolutely coherent. The author duo writes sensitively about a time that has almost become alien to us today. Despite my great enthusiasm for the first part of this trilogy, there is one downer. Why a teenager who is barely fifteen years old is allowed to show himself alone in public and be out and about with a man who is a few years older than that, I still can't get my head around.

A family where shortly before the end of the war the father was drafted and unfortunately never came home was nothing unusual at the time. Unfortunately. Here the novel has a tone that still largely determines the life of the main character even after the war.

Marianne fascinated me from the start. She knows what she wants, fights incredible odds, and learns to assert herself in a male-dominated world. Your inventiveness is impressive. How she treats her fellow human beings too. And the way she treats a character, in particular, made me laugh more than once. Oh yes, Marianne rocks the novel in her very own way.

Admittedly, the cover isn't really my thing. But what is between the two book covers, all the more so. Here, the subject of war and the post-war period is dealt with in a very sensitive way, without losing sight of the entertainment value. Great cinema in my opinion.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer TB in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. The book was, at the time this review was published, only available in the German language.

Deutsche Rezension

Mir gefällt es sehr, dass dieses Buch mit leisen Tönen die Aufmerksamkeit auf sich zieht. Ja, es gibt auch hier eine Figur, die für Ärger und Verstimmung sorgt und ja, die hat mich schon nach kurzer Zeit sehr genervt. Aber trotzdem ist der Rest der Geschichte absolut stimmig. Das Autorenduo schreibt feinfühlig über eine Zeit, die uns heute fast schon fremd geworden ist. Einen Wermutstropfen gibt es allerdings trotz meiner großen Begeisterung für den ersten Teil dieser Trilogie. Warum ein kaum fünfzehnjähriger Teenager sich mit einem um einige Jahre älteren Mann so ungeniert in der Öffentlichkeit allein zeigen und unterwegs sein darf, das will mir auch jetzt noch nicht in den Kopf.

Eine Familie, wo kurz vor Kriegsende der Vater doch noch eingezogen wird und leider nicht mehr nach Hause kommt, das ist damals nichts Ungewöhnliches gewesen. Leider. Hier gibt es dem Roman einen Ton, der das Leben der Hauptfigur auch nach dem Krieg noch maßgeblich bestimmt.

Marianne hat mich von Beginn an fasziniert. Sie weiß, was sie will, kämpft gegen unglaubliche Widerstände und lernt sich in einer von Männern dominierten Welt zu behaupten. Ihr Ideenreichtum ist beeindruckend. Wie sie mit ihren Mitmenschen umgeht auch. Und wie sie mit einer Figur im Besonderen umgeht, das hat mir mehr als einmal ein Lachen entlockt. Oh ja, Marianne rockt den Roman auf ihre ganz eigene Art.

Zugegeben, das Cover ist jetzt nicht so meins. Aber das, was zwischen den beiden Buchdeckeln steckt, dafür umso mehr. Hier wird auf sehr sensible Art mit dem Thema Krieg und der Nachkriegszeit umgegangen, ohne dabei den Unterhaltungswert aus den Augen zu verlieren. Ganz großes Kino meiner Ansicht nach.

Katharina Oswald
Katharina Oswald ©Roland Grosch

Andrea Bottlinger and Claudia Hornung write together as Katharina Oswald. Both were born in Baden-Württemberg and love to imagine the fate of women from different decades. They have known each other for a long time and complement each other perfectly when writing: Andrea always pays attention to the structure of the story and Claudia delves deeply into the details and emotions. Together they have created a gripping family saga.


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