Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Jean Molla
Age Range: 14+
As one Amazon reviewer from France stated "this novel hit me like a slap in the face". It is both absorbing and original with a level of suspense that is maintained through to the final pages.
Emma is a troubled sixteen-year-old who suffers from anorexia. She seeks attention by shoplifting, but no one understands why she does it. Perhaps it is her parents’ indifference to her, the long family silences or the lies they tell each other. Only Emma knows why.
Emma is close to her grandmother, Mamouchka who is very frail and ill. After her grandmother’s death, Emma discovers an old notebook which turns out to be a diary. The opening pages describe a horrific killing of a mother and child in a concentration camp during the Second World War. Emma’s world is turned upside down as she slowly begins to unravel disturbing secrets kept hidden for many years.
Molla’s ability to get inside the head of a sixteen-year-old girl and to make the reader experience her anorexia is truly remarkable. You feel that you are ‘living’ with Emma every step of the way as she forces herself to be sick and experience her anguish as the horrors of the diary slowly unfold. He also deals with an aspect of the Second World War which receives far less attention – that of a willing collaborator. Few novels write from the perspective of a killer, in this case a Nazi sympathizer who was quite prepared to do their dirty work in the extermination camp at Sobibor. A poignant, sometimes unbearable story, that will hold your attention from the opening page and move you to tears.