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You Would Have Missed Me

by Birgit Vanderbeke

An unusual and gripping story of a little girl uprooted from her life in East Germany to a supposedly better life in West Germany in the 60s. Told through her eyes, she reveals details of an unhappy life from which she escapes into an imaginary world inspired by her snow globe and reading 'The Time Machine'. A haunting picture of an unhappy childhood but totally compulsive.

Extract

If you can read you can perform magic and transport yourself to every country in the world, or change into an animal, or suddenly be in a different era from the one you're living in. You can travel as you please, as if there were no fences or borders or walls to stop you, you don't get arrested, locked up or shot, and if you don't like the era you happen to be living in you can simply go back to another one, although I didn't especially want to go back to the era before I was born because I would have ended up bang in the middle of the war. But if you can read you can go everywhere, even into the future.
Translated by Jamie Bulloch

Parallels

The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna
Gardenias by Faith Sullivan
 

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