The story of a young Jewish girl’s nightmarish adolescence during the Second World War, written in raw language.
Zuzana is of Jewish origin and the daughter of a confectioner from Holešovice in Prague. She has been loved by two men since she was young, though she is only interested in one of them. The story from the 1930s depicts the German occupation and the war-torn end of a girl’s “sweet” world, which had been full of the sunlit certainties of childhood. The environment of the transportation and concentration camp in which Zuzana finds herself during her adolescence is described naturalistically and realistically, which is further enhanced by the raw, harsh language of the narrative. Zuzana survives but there is not even a sweet homecoming as her childhood friendship with two boys has been disrupted. The book is divided into three parts – childhood, adolescence and adulthood – describing the transformation from childhood to womanhood during a period of transformation in society.
“The dramatic story does not examine the issues of guilt and punishment or the weight of great history. With gentle, yet surgical precision, Jakuba Katalpa searches for what is hidden beneath the surface; she does not judge, she describes; sensitively recording how someone is able to keep going at all times.”
“The author’s style is raw and yet concise and urgent, giving the book an energy which keeps the reader’s attention even after reading it.”