Floating in My Mother's Palm

Floating in My Mother's Palm

by Ursula Hegi

Anne Ferber (06/23/13): This enchanting, slim novel is actually the author's first in creating the village of Burgdorf, but takes place after the war and, thus, could actually be read as a sequel to Stones from the River.

The main character is Hanna, a 14 year old girl, whose mother is an eccentric artist, Jutta , and her father a dentist, two important characters in the previous novel. The title is taken from one of the later chapters (each of which could be considered a short story) where Jutta, who loves to swim during thunder storms, takes Hannah to a quarry where they swim together and Hannah floats in her mother's palm. This memory never leaves her.

Trudi Montag, the "swerg," dwarf, appears again as a minor character and helps Hanna get through the difficulties of adolescence by explaining the realities of being different. Hanna matures into a youth who is interested in finding truth and relevance, since there seems to be so much "re-written history" regarding Germany and the lead up to the war. Although her father is conservative and protective, she seems to have inherited her mother's free spirit, which one can feel throughout this beautifully written book.
Rating: *****

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