Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Reading Slowly, Dictionary At Hand

A few months ago, I bought a book that I plan to read through, even if it takes me all year. The title: "Über tausend Hügel wandere ich mit dir," by Hanna Jansen -- needless to say, I'll be reading it with my German dictionary close at hand.

The book's now available in English as "Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You." I'll probably buy the English version to read alongside. Ms. Jansen tells the story of Jeanne, a young girl she and her husband adopted from Rwanda, after Jeanne's family was murdered in the 1994 genocide. The Jansens have eleven other children, most of whom are war orphans.

Noting that her daughter's keen memory made her "a very reliable witness," Jansen remarks that recalling even the positive aspects of her past was painful for Jeanne: "It was hard for her to return to the good memories of her family that, until then, she had split off from herself. To feel what she had lost called up enormous grief in her, which I had to cushion. Sometimes I could only hold her tight, not knowing how to comfort her."


Betsy said...

I just had to look up the word "Hügel". If I can't even read the title without a dictionary I'm thinking it might take me a while to get through the first chapter. ;-)

On the bright side, though, I've just learned a new word. Thanks!

Holly said...

What a great idea! I should check out (for me) children's Spanish books to help me with my beginner's Spanish.