Das alte Haus (German Edition)


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Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about This House Is Mine , please sign up. In this book, Hildegard von Kamcke, expelled from her home, comes to the land-house of Ida Eckhof and seeks admittance, which she receives. Are these two women related? Inga No, they aren't. Hildegard and her daughter are refugees. Ida has to take them in. See 1 question about This House Is Mine….

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Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. A good first novel. Strong at the start, a bit wobbly about two-thirds to three-quarters of the way through, and then has a suspiciously rapid resolution. The Altes Land of the title is a region to the south-west of Hamburg given over largely to fruit trees.

Farmers there grow pears, apples, cherries - all the good things that wise people turn into schnapps.

garmogopopost.gq dictionary :: Das alte Haus :: German-English translation

At the centre of the book is the issue of inheritance which is explored in two ways, more relevant to trees and their cultivation than to li A good first novel. At the centre of the book is the issue of inheritance which is explored in two ways, more relevant to trees and their cultivation than to liquor I suppose. In the beginning there is the house , you can see old farm houses of that type across North Germany, thatched roof, half timbered, in the old days there were stalls for the animals downstairs on the ground floor to help with the heating - it gets cold in winter.

The house in this novel is considerably shabbier looking, but also has an inscription on the gable end, but this one reads : Dit Huus is mein un doch nich mein, de no mi kummt, nennt't ook noch sien , on page that is helpfully translated from Platt into German: Das Haus ist meins und noch nicht meins, der nach mir kommt, nennt's auch noch seins , in English one might say ' this house is mine and not mine too, he who comes after me will call it theirs'. I apologise for the lack of a rhyme, translation was never my thing.

I'll return to the issue of Platt below, but the main point is that inheritance is the major theme first as a dialectic between the ideas of ownership and stewardship, secondly in the idea that a person can only give what they have inherited in terms of their behaviour - if you had a difficult relationship with your parents then your children had best watch out.

In the central family of this book this about a refugee, a Prussian woman of the nobility, and how her losses, fleeing the ancestral manse in Prussia at the close of the Second World War play out in the lives of her two daughters and how her attitudes impact upon her granddaughter by means of parenting styles transmitted across the generations. This idea is shadowed in other family stories that are brought into the narrative - a neighbour who can't help himself repeat his own father's hard management style as a result of which each of his three sons leaves the family farm one after the other.

Aside from that this is not one of those books that goes in for fancy metaphors or symbols or any such city nonsense. This is your straightforward rural writing, seeing things for what they are.


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You townies see a deer, we see sausage on legs view spoiler [ figuratively speaking, I don't myself hide spoiler ]. The prose is direct, you know where you are, nicely observed, no trickery, no unreliable narrators, only war traumatised ones. At the same time the book did resonate with me, the old topos is still around because it continues to work on us no matter how many luxuriantly bearded poets poke fun at it.

At one stage a minor character observes that there wasn't anything wrong with how the central figure of the Aunt in the story lives, only in people seeing it. As a result of which he made it a rule to always look away.

This reminded me of my Grandmother who earnt her money in an office and so could only fall to doing proper work, like weeding the garden, on a Sunday. A neighbour on his way to church spotted her and upbraided her vigorously for labouring in the garden on the Lord's day. So in future she was always careful only to do her weeding on Sundays in the back garden out of sight of her neighbour.

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Where the book got wobbly was in expanding the role of secondary characters away from the central pair - an aunt and her niece. This was wobbly because the secondary characters introduced fish in the barrel type issues - rich city people moving out to the countryside and playing at living a rural life view spoiler [ although I did like this: Er sah Eva draussen an den Nesseln reissen.

As a result when the aunt and niece had been brought together by the plot into this old house, the narrative spent relatively little time with them, distracted as it was by the injustice of soft fruit prices in the Hamburg market. So when resolution comes, it felt light and unearnt, too easily and rapidly resolved. I found myself making special pleadings - 'well the aunt was a traumatised child I don't know, but if a novel has a beginning a middle and an end then it is the strong first impression that leads me to rate it highly - if, hypothetically speaking, I were to rate it - not the bemused final impression that I had from the final three pages.

The sense of place, both social and geographical, is indicated by the use of Platt, rather than German, in dialogue. Towards the middle of the book one of the characters explicitly made derogatory reference to those North Germans who had lost the Plattdeutch language attempting to resurrect it, maybe succeeding in getting their children to use the odd word or phrase here and there. The language continuing the theme of inheritance I suppose, yet it struck me that this book was doing exactly this - hauling out a few simple words and phrases as a short-cut to show character since none of the characters who spoke Platt thought in Platt - all their internal dialogue was always in Hochdeutsch.

This is hauling out the ancestral heritage to amuse voyeuristic reader who has lost their own connection to the past, for me this is problematic because while on the one hand we are lead to laugh at the city slicker attempting to live the country life, while the author is doing exactly the same as them - using the old language to add a bit of colour to the narrative. On the other hand I suppose a bare couple of millions can speak Platt which in book publishing terms is not much, while the simple words and phrases here are I suppose understandable to most born above the Benrather line.

To my amusement precisely one word was however translated for the benefit and understanding of the more monolingually inclined readers, somebody or some reason assumed that readers wouldn't be able to cope with Droepen and so with helpful intent translated it in a footnote as Tropfen.

I would have thought that given the context that even a Bavarian could have worked that one out. View all 4 comments. I haven't enjoyed a book like this in ages. The language is light and easy to read but it manages to pack painful punches.

Declension and Plural of Haus

The story weaves through time from WWII to the present, telling the story of a refugee and her daughter and other people in the village they are stranded in. The themes are universal. It's been a bestseller in Germany for quite some time and I really need to pay more at I haven't enjoyed a book like this in ages.

It's been a bestseller in Germany for quite some time and I really need to pay more attention to German lit. Place does matter, and sometimes reading books that take place where you live can touch places in you other books can't. Oct 23, Fran rated it really liked it.


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  6. Refugees were fleeing their homes in Houses were bombed and villages decimated. Hildegard von Kamcke was one of many women forced to leave her dying baby in a carriage and flee. Arriving at a farmhouse in Atland,Germany with five year old Vera and taken in by Ida Eckhoff, mother and child moved into ice cold servant quarters. Ida refused to provide food or clothing. Hildegard would steal apples and milk the cow, in secret, to supply nourishment to Vera.

    Two years later, Karl, Ida's brother Refugees were fleeing their homes in Hildegard marries Karl but cannot contend with his night terrors, remnants of his internment.

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    Years later, after Ida's suicide by hanging and Hildegard's abandonment of the farm, Vera and Karl occupy the large, dreary house. Although devoted to Karl, Vera is unable to form any sustaining relationships outside of her thriving dental practice. She takes no interest in house maintenance nor the care of her apple and cherry trees. She allows the house and property to become run down and many apple and cherry trees are now non producers of fruit due to neglect. Little does Vera know that change is in the air.

    Enter Anne, daughter of Vera's half sister Marlene. Anne Hove has trained as a carpenter by completing an apprenticeship and working for three years as a journeyman carpenter. This experience will come in handy when single mother, Anne with preschool son Leon, in tow, arrive at Vera's farmhouse seeking refuge. Vera and Anne strike an uncomfortable agreement and surprising life changes ensue. Dorte Hansen's tome explores the healing balm of family. Slowly but surely family structure evolves and the two women will learn to rely on each other.

    Thank you St.

    source A novel about young generation meeting the old, about country life and how citizens brush into and explore it. Absolutely recommended to everyone and don't be pulled off by the start.

    Das alte Haus (German Edition) Das alte Haus (German Edition)
    Das alte Haus (German Edition) Das alte Haus (German Edition)
    Das alte Haus (German Edition) Das alte Haus (German Edition)
    Das alte Haus (German Edition) Das alte Haus (German Edition)
    Das alte Haus (German Edition) Das alte Haus (German Edition)
    Das alte Haus (German Edition) Das alte Haus (German Edition)
    Das alte Haus (German Edition) Das alte Haus (German Edition)

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