Each life has its place, and every variation ripples the surface of the tiny alpine village called Rosenau. Be it a mysteriously misaddressed love letter or a girl's careless delivery of two helpless relatives into Nazi hands, the town's balance is ever tested, and ever tender. Here is a novel spanning eighty years -- years that bring factories and wars, store-bought cheese and city-trained teachers -- weaving the fates of the wives, mothers, and daughters in this remote corner of Austria. To quote Rosellen Brown, "the women in this haunting book are deeply and uniquely of their place, yet they speak (often wordlessly) of women's longings and satisfactions everywhere."
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The setting for this poignant novel is Rosenau, an isolated Austrian Village, and the story encompasses generations of villagers and their intimate lives. The magic of the novel lies in the author's ability to make the faraway seem familiar, even when it is tragic or brutal. Structured as short stories told from the viewpoints of different members of the village, the novel follows their intertwined lives from 1909 through 1977, layering story upon story to develop the village and the characters.
Lippi's characters are nothing short of wonderful. There is, for example, Johanna, whose heart is torn between her love for Francesco--a soldier hiding in the Austrian Alps--and her sister Angelika, who hides her dependence upon Johanna behind not-so-subtle reminders of familial duty. And there is Katharina, whose impulsiveness causes her to betray her two half-brothers for a ride in a Nazi motorcar, and Stante, who proves his worth not only in the Wainwright's workshop but also by his courage withstanding the Nazis. The character portrayals are based upon Lippi's own experiences living in Austria for four years. You'll hate for these stories to end.From the Publisher:
Dorothy Allison calls Homestead "a heartbreakingly beautiful piece of work." Charles Baxter calls it "a book of marvels." It is both, and more.
Homestead traces the intertwined lives of three clans in the remote village of Rosenau, high in the Austrian alps, over a span of seven decades. This intricately spun web of human dramas opens in 1909 with the arrival of a postcard addressed to "Anna Fink"-- who, because of the conventions of naming in this close-knit village (population 363), might be any one of seven women. The mystery of the card's intended recipient--and its sender, "Your Anton"--preoccupies all of Rosenau and takes Anna of Bengat homestead on a profound inner journey. By the time the novel closes, with Bent Elbow homestead's Laura in 1977, we are on intimate terms with the life of Rosenau, governed by sun and snow, by the cycles of farming and dairying, by the intrusions of war, and by the passions of its people, their loves and losses, their courage and humor, their pettiness and their nobility. In her remarkable first novel, Rosina Lippi gives us a world rich and strange, made known with stunning particularity and emotional precision.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0007105797