I didn't get to read much yesterday as I kept falling asleep, but I am rather intrigued by The Mortal Storm so far.
Just as a bit of background:
We have a young female main character, who:
- lives in Munich in the 1930s
- is on the way to becoming a doctor of medicine
- has a Jewish background
- has two stepbrothers who adore the Nazis
- got herself into a bad situation on a ski trip and was rescued by a farmer who is also dabbling in communism
So far, all the characters and tropes read like they are off a checklist for writing a novel set in the 1930s, BUT ... this was actually published in 1937.
I have no doubt that Bottome wanted to show and warn about - without any subtlety whatsoever - how messed up things were. So, I understand why she's using a lot of simple terms and simple concepts.
I also have a lot of questions:
- Did Bottome still live in Germany/Austria at the time she wrote it? (Her husband was a Britsh agent...working undercover.)
- Where was this book published? Just in the UK?
- Even if it was published in the UK/US only at the time, did the outright attack on the regime affect Bottome and her husband (I'm almost sure they lived somewhere on the continent at the time, not in the UK.)
I didn't have the energy yesterday to look up any of these points in the Bottome bio that I'm trying to read at the moment, but this is the sort of fun research that I look forward to this week.