Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien (trans. Jamie Bulloch) Quercus Books
(@QuercusBooks & @MacLeHosePress)
(eProof via NetGalley)
Books in translation are something I enjoy hugely and this one instantly appealed, both due to the setting (East Germany post reunification) and the translator - I've loved everything I've read in translation from Bulloch.
This book really wormed its way under my skin, in five stories (the Acts of the title) we learn about the lives of five women and how they interconnect. These women all have complicated lives and and various events in the present and past have shaped who they are.
What I most liked about this book was that the women felt real, they did feel like people you meet in daily life. They were fully rounded and you get to see all sides of them, no one is fully good or fully bad they just leap out of the page and into your life. The supporting cast weren't quite so well rounded but they definitely weren't cardboard cutouts, they had enough body to exist in their own right as well as in relation to the women.
My complaint with this book was that it ended - I wanted to spend more time with the five women and see where their lives went next.