Contemporary, Family

The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson

I used to read a lot of novels that were part of the realistic fiction genre. Novels that revolved around love and loss and changing perspectives. Over time, I have become more interested in genres like fantasy and science fiction and horror and thrillers. This novel took me back to earlier days and reminded me of why I love realistic fiction so much. So here is my review:

1986, London: Klaudia, who has always been home schooled, is finally going to have a chance to join high school. What makes her most nervous about all of this is her German father, who works as a janitor in her school. When the kids at school find out that they are related, they begin to taunt her by calling her father a Nazi. And Klaudia finds herself unable to defend him with confidence; every time she has brought up his past, her father has maintained his silence and refuses to give details. No one will ever discuss what happened in the war and her father’s possible involvement in it.

1995, Leeds: Eliza is making her way in the world. Leaving university to pursue her passion of dance, she is developing into a talented artist. When she meets Cosmo, she begins to believe that her life can truly be happy. But she is harboring secrets, secrets that could destroy everything she holds dear.

1930s, Germany: Two brothers are trying to make it in a world where Hitler is quickly rising in fame. While one brother supports the Fuhrer, the other cannot help but hold back. Will brotherly love withstand the test of loyalty?

As these characters’ lives intertwine, each will have to reconsider their identity and place in the world.

I absolutely loved this novel. I loved it because it was more than just a story steeped in history and prejudice. This story brought the Third Reich to life in a completely different way. Here, we see how what happened in the past can affect future generations, and how decisions and mistakes can haunt us forever. This novel showed how events shape one’s identity and affect our relationships with others. It made a historical event into something personal, something unique that isn’t shared by millions of others. It brought perspective. The author did a fantastic job in portraying all of the different characters and their struggles, as well as their acceptance of fate. I could go on and on about all of the things that I love about this novel (which is pretty much EVERYTHING about this novel!) but I would rather urge you to read it and enjoy it yourself. So if you haven’t put this on your reading list, DO SO NOW!

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