An engineer from a humble background, Ludwig fell in love with his employer’s wife and she with him – before they were separated by circumstances and by war. Now, nine years later, their unfulfilled passion is tested as the two reunite. Can the past, and their happiness, be restored – or have they been forever undone by hardship and betrayal?
I wondered how much I would enjoy another book set around the First World War after recently finishing Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, I needn’t have worried as I was hooked within the first few pages and was left to revel in the literary goodness for the rest its pages.
Having previously only read Chess by the author, I was expecting another terse effort with well-rounded and strongly realised characters who carried the story and made a strong impact on my imagination. I was not to be disappointed on any of these anticipations.
The backdrop to the story is the First World War and its aftermath. The impact on regular people caught up in those epochal events is something so often reduced to mere statistics, but here its presented in such a gloriously human, flawed, aching and passionate way. Zweig has managed to capture what many authors fail to do, and that is to make believable, fully human characters whom the reader truly cares about. Continue reading “Journey into the Past – Stefan Zweig”