Thursday, 13 April 2017

Read in 2017 - 15: Bist Du mein Kind?

"Bist Du mein Kind?" means "Are you my child?". It is the question a woman can not help but ask in her mind when she meets the French exchange student her eldest son brings home from school one day - ten years after her middle son was kidnapped during a family holiday in France.

This is, in part, a gripping story - or rather, it could have been, if the author were a better writer. As it happens, Gilda Laske's writing style is not much different from what I'd expect reading in an essay written by a 16-year-old who has read loads of novels and watched many "romantic" films.

When the Reiter family goes on holiday with their three sons - six, four and under a year old -, they have of course no idea that their lives will change forever, and they will return as an incomplete family, with only two little boys.
The four-year-old is kidnapped, and at first it seems that the French detective and his people will get a quick result. However, the mother insists on being involved in the rescue, and messes up completely.

Eventually, the family have to go back home, where they do their best to provide some kind of normality and stability to their remaining children. What is completely left aside, though, is their relationship as husband and wife.

Their struggle to keep things together, the slowly disintegrating family and how they attempt to fix it by moving to a new place is all described in a credible manner. But a lot of the couple's actions and how they deal with each other and the people who try to help them strikes me as unlikely, or at least I can not relate to them. 

Also, what I really do not like in a book is when an event is described in much detail, and
then the character involved goes and tells another character at great length exactly what we have already read for pages and pages. Why do some authors not simply say "...and she told him everything", or something along those lines? It saves a lot of unnecessary repetition, believe me!

Anyway, I did stick with the book to the end, because I did want to  know how it was all going to work out. The story had too many lengths and too many improbabilities for my liking, but then again, life is often improbable, and people do not always behave logically, do they?
I am certainly not going to look for more books by Gilda Laske and am glad I did not spend any money on this free ebook.

(After I finished writing this review, I looked at what other readers had to say about the book. Seems like I am not the only one to feel that way.)


  1. So....was the exchange student her child? :)

  2. Sometimes one can see the reasons why certain contemporary books are offered free :)

    1. Indeed! The book has many 5-star-reviews, too, but I wonder whether these reviewers have been reading the same book as I...