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Rosemarie Marschner

A Room Full of Books

The touching and convincing story of one woman’s struggle in a time of adversity.

Being an illegitimate child and growing up in the Austrian provinces in the 1930s is not the easiest of starts in life. Fourteen-year-old Marie has nevertheless to be grateful that she has been able to find a position as a maid in the big town of Linz.

But she can’t share the leisurely life of the other city dwellers who spend their days reading newspapers, playing tennis and travelling. Hers is an austere life of hard work and strict rules that are enforced scrupulously by the aged housekeeper. Only very gradually does she gain a small measure of freedom, little by little the »master« and the »mistress« show signs of being human after all.

And then Franz, a handsome lad, begins to take an interest in the young girl. He is the son of a prosperous baker and the proud owner of a motorbike! After a tremendous struggle with his parents, he is eventually allowed to marry Marie.

For their honeymoon they go to Vienna and it looks like the story will have a happy ending, but the political situation puts paid to that. It is the year 1938, Austria has just been annexed by Germany and a huge steelworks is being built in Linz. Everyone who happens to be in the way of the new masters is swiftly eliminated. And several private scores are settled too. Marie becomes one of the victims when she is denounced...
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420 pages, ISBN 978-3-423-24403-9
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