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I feel as though I have been in the driving seat of a woman's mind during the early 1930s of pre-Nazi Germany. Not just any kind of woman, though. The protagonist, Doris, with a lack of education, is a material girl who hopes to achieve a higher status in society by garnering the attentions of successful men and sleeping her way to the top. Three of them in fact, with varying degrees of success and conclusions. It is both funny and sad.
Because it is a social critique, this novel's publication was banned by the Nazis. Mostly because of its honesty and openness regarding the subject of the book; The novel is a rich portrait of a working girl sleeping her way to the top and failing. It is relevant even today. The narrative reveals her inner thoughts and attitude towards men. A frightening prospect for the men in that era.
The protagonist's thought process is flighty – jumping from idea to idea – and until you become accustomed to that pattern you may struggle to get into the flow of the story.
The writing is really quite modern, even today. The way it has been constructed and written makes it timeless. I feel that we are fortunate that a version somehow still exists today. The story of how the book has survived the Nazi period is a tale in itself.
The novel has three distinct sections that are quite symbolic and takes place mostly in Berlin, in the first person.
Section 1 takes place at the tail end of summer.
Section 2 takes place during late autumn.
Section 3 journeys from winter into spring; finishing with hope, or so I like to think.
Hope is a good way to finish such a tale.
Sergiu Pobereznic (Amazon author)