Malve von Hassell has written Rennefarre, part mystical, part reality of times gone by but all wonderful if your looking to escape. That is just what Dott is doing. Finding herself caught inbetween the fabric of time in a world where animals are able to help her in her travels, Dott starts searching for a way home. For no matter how we all wish to escape reality at times we never want to lose our way back. I love that Rennefarre has that out body feeling while still taking me to different historical events. Like feeling the flutter of butterfly wings in your mind. In each lil flap of a wing the course is altered ever so slightly but still taking you on that twisty path to your final destination.
I am telling you that Malve von Hassell has a wonderful grasp on reality all the while making you comfortable taking a short respite from it at the same time.
Malve shares what she has learned herself during her years of translating, teaching and writing. I feel that Rennefarre will be making it's way not only to JD's book list but also over to Ashley's across the street. I wish I had this one in print forum to donate to our high school library.
Dott is a twelve-year old girl. She lives in the countryside east of Berlin in an unspecified time between the two world wars. When Dott sneaks out to see the bonfire at the edge of her village on the evening of the midsummer night festival, she has no idea what will happen next. In the dark of night, the magical Rennefarre flower falls into her shoe. It not only makes her invisible, but also allows her to see things no one else could see. No longer able to stay with her parents and her young brother and sister, she begins her search to find a way out of her predicament.
Her quest to return home to her family winds its way through the cities and countryside of 20th century Germany—and beyond. As she befriends the local animals, they help her on her way with gifts of food, shelter, and—through the help of a kind spirit—a magical cup which allows her to become small and ride on the backs of the birds.
Flying across the country on the backs of crows and herons, Dott finds herself seeing the country not only as it is, but also as it used to be. She lives through moments in history others can only read about—meeting historical kings and fanciful spirits along the way. But, even with all of the excitement of her travels, she always has one goal in mind: returning home to her family.
Part coming-of-age story, part fantasy, and part social-cultural portrait of Eastern Germany in the early part of the 20th century, the book covers real ground. That is, one could follow Dott's travels on a map of the area. Seamlessly blending elements of fantasy and history, the book contains a fascinating array of details of day-to-day life in rural and urban areas in eastern Germany. Dott’s adventures are interwoven with folklore and myths as well as vivid accounts of different eras and the diverse cultural and ethnic strains that have formed the basis for a rich and complex history of Germany and Eastern Europe. Written on the eve of World War II, the book offers a sobering perspective on the human potential for causing devastation. At the same time it is filled with hope. In one scene, Dott gets a glimpse of the future — an utterly destroyed cityscape; it inspires her to look to her own responsibilities and actions in life.
Price/Format: $13.99 paperback
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
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