Yonder the Bridge is the product of six years of dedicated, if erratic, work squeezed between household chores, babysitting, nursing duties, and - says author Eva Berck - baking enough birthday cakes to supply a German "corner bakery."
The book begins with the meeting in 1945 - weeks before the end of the war - of a young German woman and an American lieutenant. He falls in love with her at first sight but refuses to shake hands with her as this is against the army's non-fraternization rules. He proposes marriage to her - just hours before the American withdrawal and the arrival of the Red Army.
Once started, the reader will have a hard time putting the book down.
The strength of the story stems from Ms. Berck's eye for detail and her descriptive judgement. Conflict, confrontation, fear, escape, and comic relief emerge from each episode. The author is ever clear-eyed and engaging, with firm moral conviction and astute power of observation. Her writing shows keen perception, total recall, and an extraordinary talent for eliciting laughter.
The book's major value is in the description of the upbringing of an upper-middle class German girl just before World War II and her experiences during and after the war.
Given what Americans know about those years, this story is quite extraordinary in its ordinariness. This was a "normal" family, trying as best it could to get on with life, education, and finding adequate food and shelter, often under horrendous conditions.
The dominant character is undoubtedly the mother, a widow, whose unshakable sense of herself and her position in society carries her through the daunting experiences of the war and post-war years. This causes problems for her daughter, who is struggling for her own identity, doggedly trying to distance herself from both an overpowering mother and the tumultous events around her.
Ms. Berck was determined to leave for her six sons and their children a record of an impossible courtship and a love between two people whom the world had decreed to be enemies.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Eva Berck is the daughter of the prominent German novelist and playwright Rudolf Presber (1867-1935). She studied history and journalism at the Universities of Berlin and Munich. Ms. Berck, who also holds a nursing degree, taught both elementary and high school in Germany and the U.S. She has written short stories for German magazines and recently published two small vomumes of German poetry translated into English by her, as well as some of her own poems. Yonder the Bridge is her first full-length book. Ms. Berck lives with her family in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Somerset House Pub, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0962993700
Book Description Somerset House Pub. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0962993700 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.2083742
Book Description Somerset House Pub, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110962993700