Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “This Terrible Beauty” by Katrin Schumann, Lake Union Publishing, March 1, 2020.
Katrin Schumann, author of “This Terrible Beauty has written a captivating, intriguing, intense and thought-provoking novel. The Genres for this novel are Historical Fiction and Fiction. The timeline for this story is set after World War Two in the 1950s and 1960’s when Germany is divided and goes to the past and future when it pertains to the characters or events. The story takes place in East Germany, Rugen, which is taken over by the Russians. It also takes place in Chicago and America. The author describes the characters as complex and complicated.
History has shown how devasting World War Two has been, and how evil the Nazis were. After the war, there were many problems, but people had hope at first. When the Russians took over East Germany, many of the people living there had no idea how evil can take different forms. One has to wonder what the devastation of war has taught us.
Bettina marries Werner, an older man that had come to her father’s store. He assures Bettina if they marry he will take care of her. With the changes after the war and the devastation that exists in the country, Bettina does marry Werner. Werner gets involved with the Russian government and is quite busy and becomes a powerful man. Bettina and Werner have a baby girl. Bettina is lonely and falls in love with a young writer.
When Werner learns of Bettina’s betrayal, he makes her leave without her daughter. She will be arrested on sight if she ever returns to her country. Is there any way that Bettina will ever see her daughter or lover again? Bettina has a special talent in taking pictures and showing reality.
I appreciate that the author discusses the tragedy of war and the aftermath can be just as devastating. In many ways, this reminds me of the song sung by Peter, Paul and Mary, and others, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”
This is so well written and vividly describes the characters, country, and landscape. I would highly recommend this poignant and thought-provoking story.