Well, Book Four is well and truly out now. I took along three copies to my German conversation group this morning. All three were taken up. Hopefully they’ll like it.
“Do you need to read Book One first?” asked one of my friends.
You absolutely don’t. That’s why it’s a cycle. You can read the books in any order.
There is some overlap but even where that happens the story is being told form a different point of view.
The point of view in Face to Face with the Führer is that of Käthe Edler, mother of the main character in The House on Schellberg Street and daughter of the main character in Clara’s Story. All three are based on real people but there is a lot of fiction here.
Or might we call it educated guesses.
It may come down to the fundamental questions about how did that school for the disabled survive in Stuttgart? Some of it must be down to Clara and Käthe for being wonderful feisty women. Renate, from The House on Schellberg Street, was mainly absent from Schellberg Street but her influence was surely on two other feisty women; her friend Hani and Hani’s mother.
Books Five and Six are also written but not yet published. Book Seven, the final book, is just in my head.
Fiction in this case becomes a way of exploring what might have happened. It can help to fill the gaps in our knowledge. In fact I would say it helps us establish what probably did happen. I wondered about how Renate’s father could have worked on the V2 bomb whilst his daughter and wife were in England. I worked out that he would have probably dragged his feet. A few weeks after I’d written that I read that the German engineers working on the V2 found it so horrific that they delayed its use as long as possible.
Yes, fiction can be extraordinary in how it digs out the truth.
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