Some things about the book which caught my attention:
- I am fascinated by the way the author has created a sense that the book has been translated from German (as far as I know it was written in English and the author is English). The cadence of the language seems to me to be German rather than English.
- The relationships are very well drawn particularly the friendship between Pia and Stefan. Pia's sometimes irritation with, but dependence upon Stefan reminds me of friendships I had at her age.
- I will never forget the exploding Oma, a horrible image but somehow blackly humorous. I will use hair spray with caution from now on.
- Great interweaving of German folktales and daily life in the book. As I write this I wonder if there isn't a flavour of magic realism instilled in the novel by the stories Herr Schiller tells and the actual events as they unfold.
I haven't quite finished the book but am looking forward to getting home tonight to read the ending. What did happen to the girls and what did Stefan see the night he went to castle on his own?....