This is a meme for all you ‘First Page Browsers
‘DEAR CHILD‘ by ROMY HAUSMANN
BOOK BEGINNINGS / FIRST LINES
STUDENT, 23, MISSING IN MUNICH
“Munich (LR) – The Munich police are searching for clues relating to the whereabouts of Lena Beck, 23, from Munich-Haidhausen. According to eyewitnesses, the student was at a party on Tuesday night in the Maxvorstadt district until around 5am. On the way home she telephoned a friend. Her mobile phone has been switched off ever since. A police search of Munich on Friday produced no leads. Lena Beck is 1.65 metres tall, petite, and has blonde, shoulder-length hair. She was last seen wearing a silver top, black jeans, black boots and a dark blue coat.”
“On the first day I lose my sense of time, my dignity and a molar. But I do have two children now and a cat. I’ve forgotten their names apart from the cat’s – Fraulein Tinky. I’ve got a husband too. He’s tall, with short, dark hair and grey eyes. I look at him from the corner of my eye as I sit huddled next to him on the threadbare sofa. In his embrace, the injuries running right down my back are throbbing, as if each of them had their own heartbeat. A cut on my forehead is stinging. From time to time everything goes blank or I see white flashes. Then I just focus on trying to breathe.
It’s hard to tell whether it is actually evening, or whether he’s decided that’s what it is. Insulation panels are screwed over the windows. He creates day and night. Like God. I try to persuade myself I’m already over the worst, but I can’t stop anticipating that we’ll be going to bed together soon. The children already have their pyjamas on. The boy’s are too small, whereas the girl’s sleeves go way over her wrists. The children kneel on the floor a couple metres from the sofa and hold their hands up to feel the residual warmth of the wood-burning stove. The fire has burned down to a black heap, with only the odd ember still glowing red. The high-pitched voices with their jolly chitter-chatter blend into the sheer abnormality of this situation. I can’t understand exactly what they’re saying. It’s as if I’m hearing them talk through cotton wool, while I contemplate how I’m going to kill their father.”
So, you have taken a look, would you read the book?
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Just to give you an extra helping hand, here is the book’s premise.
‘DEAR CHILD‘ by ROMY HAUSMANN –
(Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch)
Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed.
He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.
One day Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called ‘Lena’, who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago.
The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit.
You might also like to visit Gilion, over at ‘Rose City Reader‘, where you can share links to the book beginnings from her own reading schedule, and that of many of our fellow bloggers.
There are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.