The Dark Room by Rachel SeiffertThe Dark Room tells the stories of three ordinary Germans: Helmut, a young photographer in Berlin in the 1930s who uses his craft to express his patriotic fervour; Lore, a twelve-year-old girl who in 1945 guides her young siblings across a devastated Germany after her Nazi parents are seized by the Allies; and, fifty years later, Micha, a young teacher obsessed with what his loving grandfather did in the war, struggling to deal with the past of his family and his country.
A Dark Room Ending + Secrets
The Dark Room
Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. Oct 08, ISBN Dec 18, ISBN And two generations after the war, a teacher searches for the reason why the Russians imprisoned his beloved grandfather. Evoking the experiences of the individual with astonishing emotional depth and psychological acuity, The Dark Room develops a portrait of the twentieth century in all its drama and complexity. A debut novel that retells the history of twentieth-century Germany through the experiences of three ordinary Germans.
We have all seen the photos — the terrible photos of skeletal corpses, the frightening pictures of uniformed killers. Alongside photos of concentration camps, we see pictures of a kindly mother and a loving father. A honeymoon snapshot becomes mixed up with the evidence of mass shootings. We view the Nazis at home — living normally, and sometimes even suffering. The pictures Seiffert shows us are not of soldiers or monsters, but of ordinary men and women.
I used to be a darkroom photographer, and have spent many hours processing photographs with film and paper and chemicals struggling to get a print just exactly right in a darkroom under safe lights. So I could relate very well to the opening vignette in this triptych novel set in Germany from the s until the end of the twentieth century. It is the shortest of the three and my favorite. The character, Helmut, is the most appealing person in the book and his observations of life in Berlin and his development as a photographer had special resonance for me. The last novella, Micha, is the crux of the book and the motivation and impetus for writing it, I think.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read., In s Berlin a boy is born with a slight birth defect of the arm. When he graduates school he becomes an apprentice at a photographer's workshop while at the same time taking an interest in the comings and goings of trains.
Three harrowing stories of people caught in the violent snare of Nazi Germany make up this evenly and unemotionally narrated first novel by an English woman living in Germany. Each of the stories bears its main character's name. The first entry concerns a boy called Helmut growing up in s Berlin who has a birth defect barring him from serving in the army. He learns the trade of photography and chronicles in fascination first the evacuation of his native city, then its gradual destruction. The Nazi bravado compensates for his physical shortcomings; at war's end, he is a hollow man. The next tale concerns the flight of a family of five bewildered children, led by Lore, the oldest girl, as they make their way after the Allied victory from Bavaria to their grandmother's house in Hamburg.