08 July 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Wallflower: A Novel about Berlin at the Time of the Fall of the Wall by Holly-Jane Rahlens

Being 16 is hard, even if you are the most popular, pretty, out-going girl in the school. And it is especially hard when you are taller than the other kids, shy, and in a strange country. The latter is the situation that Molly Lenzfeld finds herself in, in this book.

The story takes place in 1989, two weeks after the toppling of the Berlin Wall. It is a type of coming of age story, as well as a tale of how one can find themselves in the strangest of places. What starts off as a mission to visit her dead mother’s childhood home becomes so much more. Heart ache, loneliness, and a desire to fit into a world that doesn’t seem to have a place for her are all mirrored in the stark, distrustful backdrop of an East Berlin coming to terms with the changes history has bestowed upon it.

Holly-Jane Rahlens has written a wonderful story that will be hard for anyone to put down. The entire story takes place over only 4 hours in one person’s life, but the affect it had on me has lasted much longer. This is a Must Read for girls 16 and up, and any adult that remembers how hard adolescence can be but also the joys that came with it.

Wallflower is four hours in the life of Molly Lenzfeld, sixteen-year-old New Yorker in Berlin. It’s Thanksgiving 1989, two weeks after the fall of the Wall. Molly, the daughter of a German-Jewish mother who fled the Nazis in 1938, is off to her mother’s birth house in East Berlin. On the subway trip wallflower Molly meets East German wildflower Mick Maier, nineteen. It’s love at first sight, and for both, a journey into an unknown land, into the labyrinth of Berlin’s underground world, a fertile terrain where they discover each other, the absurdities of the divided city, and the wonder of love.

Rating: ★★★★★

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