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The life of objects
Susanna Moore
Adult Fiction MOORE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In Moore's (In the Cut) latest novel, objects have complicated lives-they're bought, collected, requisitioned, buried, stolen, sold, and bartered-and so do people. It's Germany during WWII, and strange and awful occurrences are becoming common. Even the rich and politically connected Felix and Dorothea Metzenburg can no longer guarantee their safety-or that of Beatrice Palmer, the book's narrator, who, in a series of unlikely circumstances, has come from Ireland to work for them. The bulk of the story takes place on Dorothea's country estate, to which the family, with 23 wagons of Felix's art and objects, retreat when Berlin becomes untenable. There the war switches between a distant rumor on illegal radio broadcasts and, with food shortages, disappearances, and bombings, a reality. It becomes clear that Felix's moral and aesthetic sensibilities will not allow him to cooperate with the National Socialist state. Although the book starts slowly, once we're accustomed to Beatrice's measured style, she's an appealing, sometimes touching guide to a world where luxury and devastation coexist; friends may be spies; a Cranach painting means less than the potatoes it buys; all kinds of refugees seek safety on the estate; relationships change; and safety, although not love, is illusory. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, the Gernert Agency. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

This latest novel from Moore (The Whiteness of Bone) is a World War II story told from the perspective of a young Irishwoman. Beatrice "Maeve" Palmer thinks she is escaping a dull life in rural Ireland when she accepts an invitation from the mysterious Countess Hartenfels to travel with her to Germany. Beatrice is to become the exclusive lace maker for the Metzenburgs, a Berlin couple known for their art collections and exquisite taste. But it is 1938, Germany is under Nazi leadership and is preparing for war, and the Metzenburgs are preparing to flee to their country estate. Beatrice spends her days packing treasures belonging not only to the family but to their friends, who are leaving the country or fear their -possessions will be confiscated. Beatrice understands little about the political situation in Europe, yet it has a profound effect on her life. VERDICT It's fascinating to experience the buildup to World War II and the daily life of one wealthy German family at that time from the perspective of an outsider. This book will appeal to fans of Chris -Bohjalian's Skeletons at the Feast. [See Prepub Alert, 3/22/12.]-Pamela Mann, St. Mary's Coll. of Maryland Lib., St. Mary's City (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Beatrice Palmer
Female
Age: 17
Irish
Protestant; lace maker;arrives from Ireland to work for a rich politically connected family;.



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