Powerful account of a German girl growing up during the years of the Third Reich, reappraising those years as she visits her hometown after many years. The story is told slowly and introspectively, as it should be, allowing the memories to come back, so as to make some sense of her life and times.
It's also a novel about memory and making sense of a divided self. She begins by writing What is past is not dead; it is not even past. We cut ourselves off from it; we pretend to be strangers.
Another quote from late in the book: And the question cannot be: How can they live with their conscience?, but: What kind of circumstances are those that cause a collective loss of conscience?