Publication Date: November 7, 2019
Neem Tree Press
Hardcover; 240 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Saga
About Distant Signs
Distant Signs is an intimate portrait of two families spanning three generations amidst turbulent political change, behind and beyond the Berlin Wall. In 1960s East Germany, Margret, a professor’s daughter from the city, meets and marries Hans, from a small village in Thuringia. The couple struggle to contend with their different backgrounds, and the emotional scars they bear from childhood in the aftermath of war. As East German history gradually unravels, with collision of the personal and political, their two families’ hidden truths are quietly revealed. An exquisitely written novel with strongly etched characters that stay with you long after the book is finished and an authentic portrayal of family life behind the iron curtain based on personal experience of the author who is East German and was 16 years old at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why do families repeat destructive patterns of behaviour across generations? Should the personal take precedence over the political? Can we rise above our histories and political identities to forge a new understanding of the past and to welcome change?
It has taken me several days after finishing Distant Signs to write the review. The main reason? I was not prepared for how much this book would stir my soul.
Distant Signs explores the family dynamic and how peoples’ past and inner struggles impacts those closest to them. By the end of the book, you find yourself thinking back about how profound it was, how each of these generations and their experiences make them who they are. Perception is everything; the children who don’t like or think poorly of their parents might have a completely different opinion if only they had shared experiences or understood what had happened. It’s really heartbreaking if you think about it. There’s so much misunderstanding and it molds or breaks the families.
My only struggle with this book is that because there are three generations involved, it took me a while to get up to speed on who was who. By the end though, all the stories began to lock in place with one another and it was really powerful.
Overall, a really soul-wrenching book that I’ve awarded four stars to. I guarantee you will find yourself thinking about your own grandparents and parents differently after you read this.
Thank you so much to Anne Richter and HFVBT for the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour! I have voluntarily read and reviewed this book and the opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Anne Richter was born in 1973 in Jena, in the former German Democratic Republic. Her degree in Romance languages and English included study periods in England, Italy and France. In 2011, Anne was nominated for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, a highly regarded German-language literary award. Her debut novel, Distant Signs, was published in Germany in 2013. Anne is currently writing her second novel.
Douglas Irving is Scottish. He studied German and Spanish at Aberdeen University. In 2014 he completed a Masters in Translation at Glasgow University. His first translation, Crossing: A Love Story by Anna Seghers was published in 2016 in the US to positive reviews. His translation of Anna Seghers’ last work published in her lifetime, Three Women from Haiti, is set to follow.
Blog Tour Schedule
Friday, November 8
Review at A Book Geek
Sunday, November 10
Excerpt at A Darn Good Read
Tuesday, November 12
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Wednesday, November 13
Excerpt at To Read, Or Not to Read
Thursday, November 14
Feature at Lost_in_a_book_reviewer
Friday, November 15
Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Monday, November 18
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Tuesday, November 19
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Wednesday, November 20
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Thursday, November 21
Review at Peaceful Pastime
Friday, November 22
Feature at What Is That Book About
Saturday, November 23
Review at Impressions In Ink
Monday, November 25
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Tuesday, November 26
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, November 27
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Friday, November 29
Feature at Coffee and Ink
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of A Distant Signs by Anne Richter! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Direct Link: https://gleam.io/competitions/j4uyi-distant-signs