A Reading for Wellbeing ‘recommended read’.
Child of Nations by Irmgard Keun
This novel was written in 1938: it is a snapshot of an unconventional life, at an extraordinary time. The story is narrated by Kitty, who is nine years old.
Her father has written critically about his country , Germany, and because there may be a war the family cannot return. Unfortunately their visas have expired so they cannot settle elsewhere. Her father, a writer, uses his network of friends across Europe to aid the publishing of his work.
He frequently left Kitty and her mother almost penniless in hotels, while he moved ahead to a different country to arrange advances.
He seems totally self-centred and unaware of the needs and desires of his family for a settled life. Due to this wandering existence Kitty is exposed to the sights and sounds of a dying era. Although home schooled, her life style has given her more exposure to different languages and cultures than any other European child of her age.
This is a fascinating read about a time when children had more freedom, the old order was being challenged and Europe was in turmoil.