You Would Have Missed Me by Birgit Vanderbeke

You Would Have Missed Me

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.

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

Books with similar mood

Cove

Cynan Jones

Almost Like Spring

Alex Capus

Alice

Judith Hermann

Histories

Sam Guglani

One Day in April

Jad El Hage

Visitation

Jenny Erpenbeck

The American Granddaughter

Inaam Kachachi

Sleeper's Wake

Alistair Morgan

Depth of Field

Sue Hubbard

A Girl Returned

Donatella Di Pietrantonio

The Dinner Guest

Gabriela Ybarra

The Cut

Anthony Cartwright

Uninvited

Richard House

The Island

R J Price

The Orange Grove

Larry Tremblay

Last Fling

Sue Gee

The Art of Losing

Rebecca Connell

The Dog Who Dared to Dream

Sun-Mi Hwang

No One Writes Back

Jang Eun-Jin

The Last Tiger

Tony Black

The Lighthouse

Alison Moore

Horses of God

Mahi Binebine

Ru

Kim Thuy

The Panda Theory

Pascal Garnier

Help Me Jacques Cousteau

Gil Adamson

Hey Nostradamus!

Douglas Coupland

The Hundred Wells of Salaga

Ayesha Harruna Attah

Sal

Mick Kitson

The Dead Beat

Cody James

King Crow

Michael Stewart

Nights Beneath the Nation

Denis Kehoe

The Disappeared

Kim Echlin

The Present Moment

Marjorie Macgoye

Primrose Hill

Helen Falconer

The End We Start From

Megan Hunter

So Lucky

Nicola Griffith

In the Beginning was the Sea

Tomás González

The Collini Case

Ferdinand von Schirach

Wall of Days

Alastair Bruce

Without Blood

Alessandro Baricco

Night Visits

Ron Butlin

Hallam Foe

Peter Jinks

The Only Glow of the Day

Martin Malone

The Story of a Brief Marriage

Anuk Arudpragasam

The Man I Became

Peter Verhelst

The Dig

Cynan Jones

The Spinning Heart

Donal Ryan

The Mattress House

Paulus Hochgatterer

The Report

Jessica Francis Kane