Sunday, November 6, 2011

Adam and Evelyn-Ingo Schulze; John E. Woods (Translator)

Adam and Evelyn

Ingo Schulze; John E. Woods (Translator)

Knopf, Nov 8 2011, $27.95

ISBN: 9780307272812

In 1989 in East Germany, Adam the highly regarded tailor loves his girlfriend Evelyn the waitress. However, though they reside together, womanizing Adam enjoys trysts with his customers. Evi quits her job and comes home early only to find her mate unfaithful with a client. She calmly leaves him and East Germany for Hungary with cousins Simone and Michael.

Adam pursues his beloved while helping Katja sneak into Hungary. He is attracted to his companion while Evi likewise is to Michael. Once free of East Germany, Adam suffers from displacement until the quartet reunites in West Germany; at a time when the Wall comes tumbling down.

This is a great translation of a thought provoking timely odyssey. The story line has readers thinking in terms of Genesis and Milton; the complex impact of era making global events on the lives of everyday people; and the plight of the “forced” refugees. Each of the prime foursome is fully developed, more so the title characters; leading to the readers understanding individual and group relationships, motives and fears in a world no longer like the “Garden” that they were accustomed to for much of their lives.

Harriet Klausner

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