Book Review | Auf Wiedersehen
Title: auf Wiedersehen
Author: Christa Holder Ocker
Auf Wiedersehen is hard to explain. I was going to call it “sweet,” but that seems inappropriate, given the subject matter. I suppose “bittersweet” would be more fitting for such a book. But it is also honest, insightful, and interesting.
I have read many books pertaining to World War II, including books written from a child’s perspective. None, however, that were written from the point of view of a German child who is dealing with the aftermath of the war. I have to say, as such, Auf Wiedersehen tells a story that is more human, more personal, more simplistic. It shows another face of the victims of war — German citizens who became refugees (poor, homeless, and helpless refugees) as the war came to an end.
Our darling narrator, Crista, faces tragic and unimaginable circumstances but does so with a childlike innocence that touches your heart. Auf Wiedersehen is not merely the title of this book; it is the theme for a young girl’s very unique and difficult circumstances. Crista was forced to say “auf wiedersehen” to many people and things (both tangible and intangible) in her young life. In fact, for a significant period of her adolescence, “auf wiedersehen” was an unfortunate fact of life for Crista, having had to say goodbye to her home and belongings, her friends, her relatives.
Auf Wiedersehen is a charming book with a fresh take on the effects of war, written in the sweet, naïve (the good naïve; as in admirably straightforward or refreshingly innocent) voice of a child. This is a wonderful book, for a wide variety of readers. You will not be disappointed.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*