THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
'Bernhard Schlink speaks straight to the heart' New York Times
Olga is an orphan raised by her grandmother in a Prussian village around the turn of the 20th century. Smart and precocious, she fights against the prejudices of the time to find her place in a world that sees her as second-best.
When she falls in love with Herbert, a local aristocrat obsessed with the era's dreams of power, glory and greatness, her life is irremediably changed.
Theirs is a love against all odds, entwined with the twisting paths of German history, leading us from the late 19th to the early 21st century, from Germany to Africa and the Arctic, from the Baltic Sea to the German south-west.
This is the story of that love, of Olga's devotion to a restless man - told in thought, letters and in a fateful moment of great rebellion.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 30 mm
A cleverly-constructed tale of cross-class romance... Olga's story draws us into a present-day reckoning with Germany's past. * Mail on Sunday *
A poignant portrait of a woman out of step with her time. * Observer *
Bernhard Schlink, one of Germany's best-loved authors, is famous beyond its borders for the international bestseller The Reader. Like that excellent novel, his latest, Olga, is a searching examination of modern Germany and its scarred soul... there's a sophisticated precision to his writing, which is superbly translated by Charlotte Collins. And in Schlink's macro look at Germany's past, it's the small acts - of kindness and humility - that linger. * Sunday Telegraph, Novel of the Week *
This is not a straightforward elegy - and throughout the book, death is not an absolute end. Instead, Schlink frames the novel as a search for meaning, which dances in Olga between a multitude of timeframes and territories. Throughout, Charlotte Collins's translation is careful and beautifully paced * Financial Times *
A compelling tale of love and thwarted dreams... Schlink's lucid, no-frills prose lends his novel immediacy, and at times potency, and gives us a character to root for. * The Herald *
One of Bernhard Schlink's secrets stems from his art of telling stories by interweaving the standpoints of different generations in the very same life story. Olga is another very well-done example of that. * Le Monde *
In this moving book Bernhard Schlink resurrects the last traces of an unfulfilled love, with his trademark, sophisticated nostalgia. * Le Nouvel Observateur *
Bernhard Schlink, whose The Reader we haven't forgotten, impresses again with Olga. * Lire *
Everything points towards Olga being a new bestseller which can pick up where the international success of The Reader left off. In other words: not to be missed! * SWR1 *
Schlink is a brilliant stylist; this bittersweet love affair is deeply moving. * Hamburger Abendblatt *
The third part of the novel - letters Olga writes to Herbert after he's set out for the Arctic - is the most beautiful. Here, the camera finally zooms in and we learn of Olga's feelings, how she's torn between hope and fear, love and anger at her lover, who has left her for a madcap expedition. * Spiegel *
[Schlink] takes up motifs from his most famous work The Reader. Olga, who fights to be allowed to continue her education, seems like an alternative draft of the illiterate Hannah, whose lacking abilities led to her becoming a concentration camp guard during the Nazi era. * Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung *
Olga is captivating. Bernhard Schlink tells the story in lucid, serene language. He is a master of this warm, pleasant tone, which has a hint of the old-fashioned to it. * Stern *
Schlink tells a gripping, true-to-life story which startles you with its unforeseen twists, and not only makes you think, but feel too. * NDR Kultur *
Schlink was and is an author for readers who love intelligently told stories. And they won't be disappointed by Olga. * Tages-Anzeiger, Zurich *
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“Moving, with some dark humour”
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“Very good historical fiction”
This book takes the reader on a journey - a literal one from Germany to Africa, South America and the Arctic but it is also the journey of the relationship between Olga, raised in poverty by a harsh grandmother and... More
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