Where We’re Going
- #2 SWR Bestenliste May 2019
- Theodor Fontane Prize 2019
- Shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Literature 2020
Some friendships last longer than countries – a touching novel about friendship, loyalty and belonging
Almut and Rosa, two girls in 1940s Bohemia, are best friends. When Almut’s father dies unexpectedly and her mother commits suicide, Rosa’s mother, a German communist and anti-fascist, who, like all Germans after the war, is forced to leave Czechoslovakia, takes both girls with her to East Germany. They share experiences of loss and uprooting, but also a growing connection to the newly formed nation. Almut and Rosa become teachers and move to Berlin. But, at 30, Rosa decides to start all over yet again: Just a few months before the wall goes up, she hops on a subway to West Berlin with nothing but her handbag. Almut’s world falls apart; she can no longer tell what’s up and what’s down, since she herself is in search of something that remains. Half a century later, Almut’s daughter Elli has a best friend of her own, the dramatist Kristine. And, ultimately, it is she who takes care of Almut in her old age, when Elli gets a job at the theatre in Basel.
Experiences and memories settle like sediment. Life paths intertwine, between families and genera-tions. A book about leaving, arriving or remaining – and about the moment you recognize what really matters.