Library for the War-Wounded

We rated this book:


Helfer’s goal, stated in the book itself, is to write a true story which is nevertheless also a novel. What she has created is half a memoir, half a family history, and somehow still able to fit in an air of fairy tale, or perhaps of legend. Library for the War-Wounded is about her father, as I expected it to be, but it is just as much about the family her father tore apart with a single rash action, one that was quite possibly unavoidable.

It is also a meditation on the love of books, a fairy-tale-esque retelling of the author’s childhood, and a deeply empathetic story about a family which is shaken and traumatized but nevertheless still able to pull together around one another.

For the most part, the book is beautifully written, which made the few awkward turns of phrase stand out all the more jarringly. As this is a work in translation, I cannot say whether those same sentences are just as awkward in the original German or whether they simply don’t carry to English well. That is, however, the one reason I took a star from the rating.

Reviewed By:

Author Monika Helfer
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 208 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury
Publish Date 16-Jan-2024
ISBN 9781639732395 Buy this Book
Issue March 2024
Category Historical Fiction