Shelf Control

This is a feature, all about celebrating the books already on your TBR, and is one I’ve borrowed  from Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. All one has to do is to pick one of the books on one’s TBR every Wednesday, and write a post about it (usually what it’s all about, what makes you want to read it, where you got it, and such, but I guess up to you really).

So this week’s pick is something that’s been on my monthly TBR for a couple of months but I still haven’t gotten to it for one reason or other. And that is:

Dancing Bear.jpg

 

The Dancing Bear by Frances Faviell is the author’s memoir of her time spent in post-World War-II Berlin. The author lived there with her son and husband when her husband was stationed there, and presents a picture of a four-year period after the war. It is a picture of a city in ruins, a city characterised by cold, famine, and illness, by tragedy. These themes are explored through the author’s interactions with the Altmann family whom she gets to know during her time in Berlin. The book shows us the city through the eyes of both occupier and the occupied.

About the author: Francis Faviell was the pen name of author and painter Olivia Faviell Lucas. She studied art at the Slade School of Art in London, and had travelled to India where she stayed as Tagore’s ashram, and also to Japan and China. In 1946, she travelled to Berlin where her second husband was then posted as an official in the British administration. Her time there also found reflection in one at least of her novels A House on the Rhine, set in a town near Cologne, at a time when Germany is rebuilding itself in the aftermath of the war. In fact, I have this one on my TBR as well.

Where and When I got it: Sometime early this year, this and a few other titles by Faviell were on offer on Kindle and that’s where I picked these up. I was supposed to read this with a book group last month but never got down to reading it. But I hope to pick this one up soon.

Why I want to read it: Last year with a group on goodreads I read the Berlin Stories/Berlin Novels by Christopher Isherwood which, particularly the second book, took us to pre-war Berlin and the city struggling with various things, parts of it crumbling, and alongside the political unrest and Hitler beginning to rise to power. This was a book I really liked despite not expecting to. And reading this made me interested to read about what shape life took after the war. One reads (though World War-II books aren’t something I read too much of though I know I should) not so often of that end of the story when it comes to the War.

And now for some bookchat: Have you read any books by Faviell? Which ones and how did you like them?

Or more on the theme of World War-II and related literature–what books have you read on this theme/period and which would you recommend? Each book gives us  point of view–do you have a list of books on the period that gives one a more rounded picture–a peak into the experiences of the different people on different ‘sides’ involved/affected? Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

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