Friday, November 25, 2011

Wallflower by Holly-Jane Rahlens

Author: Holly-Jane Rahlens
Publisher: Berlinica
Date of Publication: September 2010

Wallflower is four hours in the life of Molly Lenzfeld, sixteen-year-old New Yorker in Berlin. It's Thanksgiving Day 1989, two weeks after the fall of the Wall. Molly, the daughter of a German-Jewish mother who fled the Nazis in 1938, is off to her mother's birth house in East Berlin. On the subway trip from West to East wallflower Molly meets East German wildflower Mick Maier, nineteen. It's love at first sight, and for both, a journey into an unknown land, into the labyrinth of Berlin's underground world, a terrain in which they discover each other, the absurdities of the divided city, and, of course, the wonder of love.

Wallflower is a pretty quick read. I read it in an afternoon. It takes place soon after the fall of the Berlin wall. Molly is an American who is in Germany with her father. She is planning on leaving and returning to America soon because she is feeling lost and doesn't fit in. Before she leaves she sets out on a trip to East Germany to find the house her mother grew up in. During this quest, she meets Mick, as in Jagger, and it is like, or maybe love, at first sight. During the 4 hours they spend together, Molly really opens up and learns that she can fit in. 

This book was very interesting because the author draws a lot of comparisons between East and West Germany. You get a real sense of what it was like right after the wall came down. Especially the uncertainty of what the future will bring for those who have been in the East for their whole lives. I remember when the wall fell. It was an exciting event, but I never really thought about how it really impacted the people living right there or how it took a long time for changes to really be made. 

I definitely recommend this one. It is a sweet story about 2 people on opposites sides who find friendship on a train. I only wish it were longer!

No comments: