Last House Before the Mountain
Monika Helfer, Gillian Davidson
‘Beautiful and heartbreaking … I absolutely loved it’ Monica Ali, Sunday Times Bestselling author of Love Marriage
‘The whole, biographically inspired family drama tells of the greatest feelings we have: Love, anger, envy and grief’ Meike Schnitzler, Brigitte
Maria and Josef live with their children in a valley in westernmost Austria. When the First World War breaks out and Josef is drafted into the army, Maria is left to provide for her family alone. Every day is a struggle against starvation, the harsh alpine climate and the hostile nearby villagers who see Maria as little more than a beautiful temptress out for the men left behind. But when a red-haired stranger arrives in the village, Maria feels happiness seep back into her life and she faces a choice whose consequences will affect the lives of her family for generations to come.
Based on the internationally bestselling and award-winning Austrian novelist Monika Helfer’s own family history, Last House Before the Mountain is a propulsive, haunting, multi-layered saga about love, family, and the hidden wages of war.
[Last House] is beautiful and heartbreaking, and readers will fall in love with Maria. It's also a profound meditation on the stories we tell about ourselves, the stories others tell about us, how those stories are handed down the generations, and the effect of inherited narratives and memories on our lives. I absolutely loved it * Monica Ali, Sunday Times Bestselling author of Love Marriage * A poignant, captivating, beautifully woven family saga. As honest as Elena Ferrante, with the folkloric intensity of Tea Obreht, Last House Before the Mountain explores the ways we reconstruct our family histories in an attempt to understand who we are * Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Exiles, A Piece of the World, and Orphan Train * Last House Before the Mountain by Monika Helfer is a masterclass in literary compression. In just 125 pages, Helfer brings a whole world of wonder, loss and deep, deep longing to indelible life * Laird Hunt, author of Zorrie * Monika Helfer powerfully transfigures the lives of a family who exist physically and emotionally at the edge of their society, as the flames of war reshape their shadowed world forever * David Park, author of Spies in Canaan * The whole, biographically inspired family drama tells of the greatest feelings we have: Love, anger, envy and grief * Meike Schnitzler, Brigitte * Every sentence resonates in hazy, indescribable beauty * Alexander Solloch, NDR Kultur * In Monika Helfer's novel, not only every word is right, but every syllable * schreiblust-leselust.de * A powerful, autofictional family epic * TOPMagazin *
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