My First Book of the Year 2015: The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

Firstread2015

First of all let me wish everyone  a very HAPPY NEW YEAR  2015.I know all of you are busy today with putting your new resolutions for the year into action.Whatever your plans be I wish you success and happiness in all your endeavours,may you have a better year this year than all the bygone years.

But even if you’re very busy I hope you have time to check out my first read of the year which I  have been raring to tell you about since I  started reading  this morning.I know I usually post only book reviews but when I came across the First Book of the Year:2015 event hosted by  Sheila at Book Journey, I was intrigued by the idea of my first new year post being about my first read of  the year.What better way for a bibliophile to welcome the new year than by reading a new book on the first day of the new year?

So my first book of the year is The Post Office Girl written by one of the most notable Austro-Hungarian authors from the 20th century,Stefan Zweig.

INTELLIGENT LIFE SPRING 2009Stefan Zweig book cover from The Post Office GirlStefan Zweig

Published posthumously in 1982 after Zweig’s demise from a barbiturate overdose in February 23,1942 ,The Post Office Girl  has been translated from German into English by Joel Rotenberg .

The vivid and elaborate description of a generic village post office in Austria in the beginning of the story is enough to convince the reader to take a chance on Zweig’s novel because his prose has the power of bringing a dull post office to life.I haven’t yet finished reading the book,so I cannot tell you much about it.But here’s a brief synopsis of the story.

The post-office girl is Christine, who looks after her ailing mother and toils in a provincial Austrian post office in the years just after the Great War. One afternoon, as she is dozing among the official forms and stamps, a telegraph arrives addressed to her. It is from her rich aunt, who lives in America and writes requesting that Christine join her and her husband in a Swiss Alpine resort. After a dizzying train ride, Christine finds herself at the top of the world, enjoying a life of privilege that she had never imagined.

But Christine’s aunt drops her as abruptly as she picked her up, and soon the young woman is back at the provincial post office, consumed with disappointment and bitterness. Then she meets Ferdinand, a wounded but eloquent war veteran who is able to give voice to the disaffection of his generation. Christine’s and Ferdinand’s lives spiral downward, before Ferdinand comes up with a plan which will be either their salvation or their doom.

Supposed to be an unexpected and haunting foray into noir fiction by one of the masters of the psychological novel,this unnamed and unfinished novel  was titled “Intoxication of Metamorphosis” in Germany and France in reference to one of the phrases in the book when it  came out in 1982.

I am eager to find out what makes this an extraordinary novel and tell you about my final opinion.

What is your first book of the year? What books do you plan to read this new year?Are you part of any reading challenge this year?Do tell me about your bookish resolutions for the year 2015.Book recommendations are also welcome. 🙂

Have a great year ahead!

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21 thoughts on “My First Book of the Year 2015: The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

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