Fräulein Schmidt and Mr. Anstruther by Elizabeth von Arnim

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This epistolary novel by Elizabeth Von Arnim is particular since as reader we have access only to one side of the correspondence, and thus we have to deduce what’s going on the other side, as well as the content of the letters.

Rose-Marie Schmidt is a German girl whose family had as host Roger Anstruther, an English guy,who came to Germany to learn the language.

Before him coming back to England, they declare their reciprocals love and the promise of a future together. At this moment they begin exchanging letters: Rose Marie is a passionate girl in love, and Roger loves her. At some point some doubts about Roger begin to arise, maybe he does not love her so much and prefers a rich beautiful english girl. The letter stops for some times and they start again only on friendship terms.

At this point the most beautiful part of the novel starts: Rose-Marie leaves the attitude of a silly girl in love for a more reflective mature one, she describes her days at home, her friendships and her character appears more resolute.

I did not particularly enjoy the beginning of the book – mostly love letters, but when the  registry changes the book has become extremely enjoyable: the setting comes alive thanks to the narrative style, and the character are more three-dimensional. The ending is truly a great one.


* Fräulein Schmidt and Mr. Anstruther by Elizabeth von Arnim ★★★★☆

*I read this book in english

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