I. Lauterstein VIENNA GIRL CL

ISBN 13: 9780393022643

VIENNA GIRL CL

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In this sequel to the accaimed novel "The Water Castle," the year is 1945. In a darkened cellar in Vienna, fifteen-year-old Reyna Meinert and her grandmother have taken refuge from the invading Russians. The German army is defeated and the occupation is about to begin.

Emerging from her dark retreat, Reyna enters a world in confused transition. Through her eyes we witness the efforts of the "old order" to reclaim its position of authority. But in the grim aftermath of war, shadowed by the Nazi legacy of shame and guilt, the culture and charm of Old Vienna seem in adequate to the challenge of a new world. The social upheaval of the occupied city forms a backdrop for and reflection of Reyna's own disquieting passage through adolescence. Wise for her age, yet still not far removed from the innocence of childhood, she tells a story shaped by clear-eyed observance and the deeper truths revealed in fantasy.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Concealed in a dark cellar, Reyna Meinert, the 15-year-old narrator and principal presence of this memoiristic novel, and her grandmother, the Countess von Falkenburg, await the arrival of the victorious Russian battalions in Vienna, immediately following the defeat of the Nazis. Despite the grim setting, no politics or ideology pervade the narrative. The prevailing spirit is that of the imaginative teenager's amorous fantasies, visions of herself as a Joan of Arc defending her virtue against the marauding Red Army rapists, attempts to make some sense of tumultuous experience. Her aristocratic grandmother, too, lives nostalgically in the grandeur of the old empire and dreams of the return of the Hapsburgs. Reyna is charming, endearing, as well as infuriating, and these qualities mark her progress through adolescence. But too often the novel, like its mistress, lacks dramatic center and tension. Lauterstein wrote The Water Castle.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Immediately after Germany's surren der in 1945, Vienna was divided by the victorious superpowers, much as was Berlin. In the chaos that reigned as the Allies moved in and began the cleanup, 15-year-old Reyna Meinert came out of hiding. She found little stability that year. She fell in love with three men, two from her old life and the other an American soldier. Her emotions were as unstable as the city, which tried to come to grips with the post-Hitler or der. Reyna summed it up: "I was look ing for constancy as I went from one phase to another in a changing world." So, too, was Vienna. The writing re flects this tumult. Told in the first per son, the style has the flavor of a stream-of-consciousness narrative. Reyna and her grandmother are full- fledged characters, but many of the others are incompletely realized. An drea Lee Shuey, Dallas P.L.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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