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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing Scandinavian saga, 17 May 2013
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This review is from: Anna Märklin's Family Chronicles (Kindle Edition)
I found this an engrossing and challenging read. It's challenging both in the complexity and in the subject matter.
Anna wants to investigate her family history, but there has always been a mystery concerning her grandmother. It's only when her father is dying that she is given notebooks containing drawings and text recorded by her grandmother when she was a young girl.
The account of Anna's modern life is interspersed with extracts from the notebooks and a chilling similarity emerges; both are living in an atmosphere permeated with violence, sexual deviancy and death. Although separated by a hundred years, and living in times of very different social attitudes, there is a common theme of families hiding guilty secrets - secrets that lead to violent death.
The writing is very accomplished. The extracts from the journal cover a period of years and that is clearly shown as the writing of the girl develops from the cheery, chatty style of the young girl (with crossings-out in place) to the frightened tension of the under-threat twelve-year-old.
There are descriptive passages so beautiful that they demand to be re-read and savoured.
Set mainly in Denmark, the names of the characters, the locations, the social attitudes and the use of English combine to create a Scandinavian feel that is tangible on every page. Kindle opens the book at the prologue, but before that there is a glossary containing the Danish words used in the text for which there is no direct English translation.
This wasn't a relaxing read. I felt that it was making demands of me, but those demands were very well repaid.
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3.8 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews)
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