This is wonderful – a Wednesdays are wunderbar non-blogging winner has fed back.

Susanna won a copy of Leon and Louise in September in a pre-German Literature Month giveaway. The book was kindly donated by Haus Publishing. This is what Susanna wrote:

I enjoyed “Léon and Louise” by Alex Capus, a book I won in your German lit drawing. Thank you. Capus is Swiss, writes in German, the novel is set in France and the translator, John Brownjohn is British. That is a lot of European geography.

The novel begins with Léon’s funeral in Notre Dame, a touch of Léon’s sense of humor. Even with children and grands in attendance, the place echos ‘empty.’ A woman click-clicks in high heels up the center aisle to the casket, rings a bicycle bell (imagine that in an almost empty Notre Dame) then places the bell inside the casket, kisses the corpse, turns and click-clicks to the exit. “Who is she?” “Is that her?”

Next chapter begins the energetic, sad, joyous, dramatic, traumatic and humorous story of Léon and Louise who meet in 1918 at the end of one of Europe’s darkest moments. These two bring much light into it despite the fact that early on they are caught in an explosion that leaves each thinking the other dead.

Neither dies, Léon marries Yvonne, Louise has a much more peripatetic life. They do meet again and another war threatens to crush Europe.

Do read it. There is war and the usual insanity it brings; nevertheless, it is a pleasant book with pleasant people.