Library for the War-Wounded

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The internationally bestselling novel-a daughter's portrait of her WWII veteran father, assembled from shards of memory.

We called him Vati, Dad. Not Papa. He thought it sounded modern. He wanted to present himself to us, and through us, as a man in tune with the modern age. A man who could be read as having a different past.

Inspired by the author's family history, Library for the War-Wounded transports readers to the aftermath of World War II, uncovering the life of Helfer's father, Josef. Born with the stigma of illegitimacy, he found solace in books, and his education was eventually funded by the Catholic Church. Drafted into the Wehrmacht, he witnessed the horrors of the Eastern Front and returned from the war an amputee. He married his nurse and brought his family to the high, idyllic slopes of the Austrian Alps, where he took a position as manager of a convalescent home for war-wounded.

Josef was a man of many mysteries. To his daughter Monika, none was greater than his obsession with the home's unlikely and remarkable library, his great treasure and comfort as the country barrels away from the memory of war. He will stop at nothing to save it-even when it tears apart his family.

Beautifully restrained and compressed, Library for the War-Wounded turns lived experience into great literature by confronting the universal question: Can we ever truly know our parents?

Author: Monika Helfer
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published: 01/16/2024
Pages: 208
Weight: 1lbs
Size: 8.25h x 5.51w x 1.00d
ISBN: 9781639732395

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 10/30/2023
Booklist 11/01/2023 pg. 23
Kirkus Reviews 11/15/2023

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