When JFK Came to Frankfurt

Historical Novels, Women's Fiction, Fiction

It is 1949 and both the narrator and Germany’s democracy are still in their infancy. Twenty years later, in 1969, following much turmoil and unrest, both are put to the test. 

In the Adenauer era, the idea of the picture-perfect nuclear family prevails despite the disorderly conditions of the post-war years. The 'Miracle on the Rhine' and family policy are keeping everyone in their place – though narrator Rita would prefer things to move on. In any case, Rita’s opinion doesn’t really matter, she is only a child. And so, in this young German Federal Republic, the father remains the sole breadwinner while the mother cooks and looks after the children. 

Yet as the daughter of a young woman with big dreams and few opportunities, Rita gets to experience much more. Growing up, she witnesses the wave of divorces after the war, the wave of remarriages, the extended families, the nuclear families, families made up of friends, of single mothers. Brought up by two extraordinary women, Rita sees society slowly but surely develop and blossom.
The narrator, now in her seventies, tells the story of her childhood and early adulthood, painting an authentic and unsentimental picture of 50s and 60s Germany. 

  • The coming of age of both a woman and a nation
  • For fans of Joanna Trollope and Clare Chambers
Dörthe Binkert

Dörthe Binkert, born in Westfalia, studied German, Art History and Politics in Frankfurt. After working as chief editor for various German publishers she is now living as a free-lance author and agent in Zurich.

When JFK Came to Frankfurt

It is 1949 and both the narrator and Germany’s democracy are still in their infancy. Twenty years later, in 1969, following much turmoil and unrest, both are put to the test. 

In the Adenauer era, the idea of the picture-perfect nuclear family prevails despite the disorderly conditions of the post-war years. The 'Miracle on the Rhine' and family policy are keeping everyone in their place – though narrator Rita would prefer things to move on. In any case, Rita’s opinion doesn’t really matter, she is only a child. And so, in this young German Federal Republic, the father remains the sole breadwinner while the mother cooks and looks after the children. 

Yet as the daughter of a young woman with big dreams and few opportunities, Rita gets to experience much more. Growing up, she witnesses the wave of divorces after the war, the wave of remarriages, the extended families, the nuclear families, families made up of friends, of single mothers. Brought up by two extraordinary women, Rita sees society slowly but surely develop and blossom.
The narrator, now in her seventies, tells the story of her childhood and early adulthood, painting an authentic and unsentimental picture of 50s and 60s Germany. 

  • The coming of age of both a woman and a nation
  • For fans of Joanna Trollope and Clare Chambers
Bibliographic Data
320 pages, ISBN: 978-3-423-28994-8
First published 2022