In 1942, Friedrich, an even-keeled but unworldly young man, arrives in Berlin from bucolic Switzerland with dreams of becoming an artist. At a life drawing class, he is hypnotized by the beautiful model, Kristin, who soon becomes his energetic yet enigmatic guide to the bustling and cosmopolitan city, escorting him to underground jazz clubs where they drink cognac, dance and kiss. The war feels far away to Friedrich, who falls in love with Kristin as they spend time together in his rooms at the Grand Hotel, but as the months pass, the mood in the city darkens as the Nazis tighten their hold on Berlin, terrorizing any who are deemed foes of the Reich.
One day, Kristin comes back to Friedrich's rooms in tears, battered and bruised. She tells him that her real name is Stella, and that she is Jewish, passing for Aryan. More disturbing still, she has troubling connections with the Gestapo that Friedrich does not fully understand. As Friedrich confronts Stella's unimaginable choices, he finds himself woefully unprepared for the history he is living through. Based in part on a real historical character, Stella sets a tortured love story against the backdrop of wartime Berlin, and powerfully explores questions of naivete, young love, betrayal, and the horrors of history.
Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 230 g
Dimensions: 217 x 139 x 15 mm
Takis Wurger is someone out of the ordinary and this book is like him: powerful, strong, painful. Stella is a book from which we do not emerge unscathed and in which he explores the depths of the human soul. I stayed in this book for a long time after turning the final page. Wurger is surely one of the most important writers of our generation. -- Joel Dicker, author of THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR
I was somewhat skeptical when I began this book, but it gripped and surprised me, and by the end I was full of admiration. -- Daniel Kehlmann, International Booker Prize-shortlisted author of TYLL
Wurger skillfully intertwines fact and fiction. This subtle, thought-provoking narrative is worth a look * Publishers Weekly *
[A] powerful, visceral portrait of individuals caught up in a pivotal year during Nazi rule. * Booklist *
Stella is a book you can hardly put down . . . It has a style which in a certain way echoes Hemingway's war reporting - you might call it "melancholy heroism." But it reads very well, you can't say otherwise. * Die Welt (Germany) *
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Mixed feelings about this one. I did enjoy the story and it was well written in the sense that despite the heavy content it was quite an easy reader and I got through it pretty quickly. It started off really well as I... More
“A haunting read”
I received a free copy of this book from Readers First in exchange for an honest review. I read this book fairly quickly, as although it is 20o plus pages it has a fairly easy writing style. With that being said it is... More
“Chilling, factual wartime tale”
This was one that definitely lived up to the blurb.
Friedrich is from Switzerland and longs to experience more of the world, hence he finds himself in Berlin eager to soak up the city.
There he mets Kristin at an art... More
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