You Are Not Like Other Mothers should perhaps be called, You Are Not Like Other Books. We have to admit, this style is a little difficult to get used to. It's certainly a little different than what we commonly read; which has its good and bad moments.
As far as characters go, we've been having a hard time really connecting to the characters. Maybe this is going back to the writing style of minimal dialogue and the fact that we're getting a secondhand-ish account of everything from the daughter. That being said, the perspective is super interesting, because the daughter is trying to piece together her whole mother's history into some kind of coherent story line. What a fascinating project that would be, to document your mother's life.
Speaking of her mother, Else is quite ... frustrating to us. Else reminds Sarah of Daisy in The Great Gatsby. Daisy isn't a strong, female protagonist - but instead, a woman who relies on the men in her life for everything and doesn't have any hopes for herself. She even goes so far as to want her daughter to be a fool. A lot of these traits are emulated in Else. She is spontaneous, to a fault, and only thinks of herself when bouncing from one man to the next. She's on her, what, third husband now? Fourth? She has no regard for the feelings of others. This is infuriating. Much like Daisy was infuriating.
A character not as infuriating, however, is our narrator, Angelika, who we have finally met. She's more reserved than her mother, which we find refreshing after reading so many pages of Else galavanting and marrying anything that breathes. Of course, she is still young right now, so who knows what she will become.
One thing we've enjoyed about this reading are the character's reaction to the Nazis. They recognize the threat and yet don't seem to take it seriously at first, before it's almost too late for some. This is an interesting perspective on the Reich, usually we just immediately see terror when we see Nazis. This perspective and reaction is a little different; sometimes true evil doesn't actually seem like a threat until it's too late.
This week we’ll be reading pages 265-395. Our focus for the next discussion will be: War and Commentary.
Also, click here to read our co-host Hollis’ post for this section!
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