Compelling, layered, sophisticated, and gorgeous.
Haggblade masterfully depicts her struggles as a young woman who transcends hardships to turn her life around in her remarkable memoir. Told in Haggblade’s first-person voice, the narrative follows her journey learning English, adjusting to new norms, and fighting racism along the way. The story takes readers back to Germany during World War II, showcasing what life was like for those who lived through the war and its aftermath. Haggblade’s birth father had been enlisted in the Hungarian military and departed when her mother declined to go with him to Budapest, leaving his daughter behind. Her mother wanted to be independent and chose not to raise a baby, so Haggblade was raised by a foster family led by a former SS Officer. After her foster mother died, she was transferred to a children’s home operated by Catholic Sisters. She emigrated to the United States at age eighteen without any family support or knowledge of English. Haggblade recounts events that shaped her life in both Germany and America, diving into how she grew past her childhood influences and beyond the confines of her homeland. This dual focus gives this memoir an added layer of depth and complexity. She also observes the intricate ties between music and religion, as well as how Munich’s environment influences its culture, delving into her thoughts on social isolation and its effects. The book stands out for its ability to show how personal, familial, and societal problems are interconnected. An affecting, first-rate exploration of cultural fusion and the struggles that come with it.
Trauterose: Growing Up in Postwar Munich
Glass Spider Publishing
Pub date September 2, 2023
Price $17.99 (USD) Paperback, $8.99 Kindle edition