Germany during the 1990s is a time of change both politically and personally. Maria is seventeen and of her own free will has left home to live with her boyfriend's family. The novel brings to life her passion, guilt and longing to those whose lives she has touched. Not sure how I feel about this book. Do I feel disgusted by the way she's been sexually treated by Henner or is she old enough to know her own mind? You read and decide.
My pride evaporates on the way back to the Brendels'; I feel sordid and cruel. Johannes is waiting for his girlfriend, Frieda has probably prepared dinner, but Maria is sated in every respect. I don't understand how I can deceive these people who have taken me in so warmly, the Brendels. I'm utterly ashamed of myself, but I cannot regret what I have done.
Luckily Johannes is still working in one of the pastures when I get home. But it will be dark in half an hour at most, hardly long enough to wipe the rapture from my face. I saw it myself in the mirror, and Henner said, 'You look completely different, Maria. Much more beautiful.' I wonder whether here on the farm they'll notice it too. But they don't, and in some way that eases my conscience. And yet their cluelessness almost maddens me. Only Alfred's noticed it.