Readers'  Voices

Anonymous American Reader

I identified with so much of this even though I am an American. I won't list all the things, as I'm sure that would be boring, but for instance, that MM is afraid of the house burning down from candle-use, etc., and the Germans being so practical, and daughters being afraid of their mothers' faux pas, and my mother-in-law not liking my best cooking, the "mad glint of food" in the eyes of those who went through the war, (as she did). Little things.

I didn't expect to be so drawn in by this, as I'm mostly a fiction reader now . But I was.  It is wonderful.

Shayne, New Zealand

What a lovely, fluid account this is, Anli. You write with affection, but with a clear-eyed avoidance of sentimentality. I felt as if I were sitting in the presence of a fine story-teller, being given a privileged glimpse into a world quite apart from mine.

Richard, USA

Entertaining, well-written, and full of interesting and insightful cultural information. This should be a must read for all of our students planning on a semester abroad there. Thank you for a most enlightening book!

Robin, UK

This is a very enjoyable book, addressing the universal concept of home - a subject that everyone can relate to and empathise with. And your particular journey is a very interesting one, one of fantastic contrasts.

Margaret, UK

This is so readable - interesting, human, evocative in places - the smell of the kikuyu lawn ......

Paul, Pretoria, South Africa

Anli manages to give a very personal account of her experience in moving from South Africa to Germany, but also provides insights into the recent South African liberation struggle and the much older history of Trier. I found the book very entertaining and informative and a "must read" for anyone who is involved in a cross-cultural relationship or who is emigrating to a new country."

Kathleen, USA

Your first three chapters sang with wonderful detail like the aroma of South African lawns and gardenia. I enjoyed your witty references to the number thirteen in your prologue and throughout. Also, the way you describe the initial differences between cultures and climates felt palpable as I read.

Nicely rendered portrait of a modern-day pioneer! I also enjoyed your family history of travel and multi-cultural appreciation. You have a very readable style.

Kate, Chicago, USA

Your memoir ranges over both specific, personal experiences and broader generalizations and contextualizing the weird, fascinating culture you discover in Germany (and having traveled there a few times, I've gotta say that, in my experience, the points you mention are SPOT-ON). Most of my favorite parts, though, are when you mix the two styles, particularly the priceless "Please Queue!" chapter. I CANNOT DESCRIBE (fortunately, you did) how astonishing I found the "rugby crush" technique of getting counter help (or getting onto a bus, or...anything that involves a crowd).

I think your squished Xmas wreath with GRAVE CANDLES, incidentally, sounds completely INSPIRED, heh heh, but no, it's not the kind of whimsy that I see most Germans being too fond of...tolerant, perhaps, but not IMPRESSED...! And that peculiar, although I am sure very salutary, obsession with garbage.

Anyway, your outsider eye lets you zoom in on precisely what it is that makes Germans DIFFERENT, which allows you to paint a charming and entertaining picture of the culture that's meaningful to ANYONE who knows at least a little (or is curious) about Germany.

Lesley, USA                                                                                                                                       

This is well done. You vary the sentences and pull the reader so that we can envision the scene well.

Helena, Scotland

I am loving this. Your book is entertaining, well written and sooo true. As someone who packed all her belongings into boxes and the animals in crates I can appreciate your story. I wish you luck and many book sells.

Jo, UK

You have great story to tell - all transitions are traumatic one way any another - and you do not flinch from giving the reader glimpses of the personal challenges you faced.

Michiel, The Netherlands

This book shows life in Germany and South Africa in perspective. It is an interesting mirror for anyone who's living in western Europe and the anglo-saxon world. The author seems to hate and love both societies.

Katlynn, Virginia, USA

I have only visited Germany a few times and could not get a sense of its reality but in your book I can see, feel and understand the country and its people.

Your book is well written and fascinating. I also find it humerous and informative! I am an ex-South African, born in Zimbabwe, and can relate to the emigration process and culture shocks since I have lived in several countries....

Kay, UK

The title is 'in-your-face' arresting and funny all at once, as is your colourful cover art!! ........Your writing is beautiful....

Karyn, New Zealand                                                                                                                                

You have a lovely understated (antipodean?!!) way of writing and as I spent time in Europe and Britain in my 20s I can relate a little (especially about missing certain foods) to what you say...

James, Cape Town, South Africa                                                                                        

A vivid account of moving country, something I did to South Africa a long time ago. What a pleasure to read about travelling in the opposite direction, although with similar problems. A highly enjoyable read......

Harry, UK

There's a great story here. You have a good eye for detail and give a well balanced account of the trails and joys of moving house.

Kweku, UK                                                                                                                                          

Fascinating read.

Read what German readers  wrote