Book Review

Review – Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien


Bookseller Paula has lost a child, and a husband. Where will she find her happiness? Fiercely independent Judith thinks more of horses than men, but that doesn’t stop her looking for love online. Brida is a writer with no time to write, until she faces a choice between her work and her family. Abandoned by the “perfect” man, Malika struggles for recognition from her parents. Her sister Jorinde, an actor, is pregnant for a third time, but how can she provide for her family alone?

Love in Five Acts explores what is left to five women when they have fulfilled their roles as wives, mothers, friends, lovers, sisters and daughters. As teenagers they experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall, but freedom brings with it another form of pressure: the pressure of choice.

Punchy and entirely of the moment, Love in Five Actsengages head-on with what it is to be a woman in the twenty-first century.

Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

My Review:

On surface, after reading Love in Five Acts, I feel like I am the best mother, the best wife and the best friend in the whole wild world. I didn’t understand the choices the characters made throughout the novel and I felt like their lives were so completely in contrast with mine that I didn’t really resonate with any of them at all.

However, I kept thinking about it. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story and the characters long after I finished the book. I COULD NOT STOP FEELING FOR THE CHARACTERS! I couldn’t get it out of my mind that these five women, these five women who I have thought making irrational decisions and doing irrational things were actually the painful representation of the choices and dilemma modern woman faces every single day.

Five women, Paula, Judith, Brida, Malika and Jorinde, they were all in some way connect to each other but all were completely different. Five different life, five different love stories, five different destinies. Do you love your child more than you love yourself Paula would ask? Do you love yourself more than anything else in the world Judith would ask? Is my love for my career much more than my love for my husband and my child Brida would ask? Does love only happen once and your broken heart would never mend Malika would ask? What is love and how did it all happened Jorinde would ask?

Love in Five Acts has unapologetically portrait the difficult choices women have to make in 21st century, the roles we have to play every single day: lover, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and the expectations that fall on us at every stage of our life. None of the five women in the story was happy. They were heart broken and defeated by life. To me, it was such an uncomfortable, heavy and provocative read but I couldn’t look away. It was uncomfortable because it was raw and it was true.

This was such an excellent character driven book. A book that makes me think and reflect. Thank you so much MacLehose Press, Quercus Books for this stunning copy to review!

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