The Blind Side of the Heart

The Blind Side of the Heart

3.41 (1,569 ratings by Goodreads)
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Amid the chaos of civilians fleeing West in a provincial German railway station in 1945 Helene has brought her seven-year-old son. Having survived with him through the horrors and deprivations of the war years, she abandons him on the station platform and never returns. Many years earlier, Helene and her sister Martha's childhood in rural Germany is abruptly ended by the outbreak of the First World War. Her father, sent to the eastern front, comes home only to die. Their Jewish mother withdraws from the hostility of her surroundings into a state of mental confusion. Helene calls the condition blindness of the heart, and fears the growing coldness of her mother, who hardly seems to notice her daughters any more. The Blind Side of the Heart tells of two World Wars, of hope, loneliness and love, and of a life lived in terrible times. It is a great family novel, a powerful portrayal of an era, and the story of a fascinating woman.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 146 x 218 x 42mm | 580.6g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1846552125
  • 9781846552120
  • 711,771

Review quote

"Franck's command of the language of misery and loss is awesome, but so is her gift for describing the warmth of burgeoning life when things are going right." -- Melissa Katsoulis The Times "It is not surprising that this book won the German Book Prize...It is a rich moving and complex novel... The narrative is gripping, the atmosphere densely oppressive. The tone has the authority which comes only when people, feelings, thoughts, scenes, and actions have been so thoroughly imagined that you can't conceive of events turning out otherwise than they are presented." -- Allan Massie The Scotsman "One of the most haunting works I have ever read about 20th century Germany...The book's moral perspective is faultless, as is Franck's sensitivity to character, sexuality and the struggle to be a free woman in a fascist society...The Blind Side of the Heart is a masterpiece." -- Julia Pascal Independent "Julia Franck's novel, winner of the German Book Prize, is beautifully constructed... Franck has a remarkable ability to capture the nuances of human behaviour, and her subtle depiction of Helen's growing coldness, or 'blindness' and the wider blindness of a society heading for disaster, is utterly compelling.'" Independent
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About Julia Franck

Julia Franck was born in Berlin in 1970. She studied the anthropology of Native Americans, philosophy, and German language and literature at the Free University of Berlin. The Blind Side of the Heart won the German Book Prize, Germany's most prestigious literary award. She lives in Berlin.
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Rating details

1,569 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 16% (254)
4 34% (532)
3 31% (487)
2 13% (210)
1 5% (86)
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