The Blue Flower
This is an unusual book, one that I struggled to stay engaged with at times. It is based in the 1790s in Germany, and looks at a family and how they grow and evolve. The center plot is a love story between a well-educated man in his early 20s and a 12-year-old commoner. There are some interesting subtexts, and I would compare it as a character sketch in the film sense. The main character is a poet, and I have never connected with poetry as so many others do, so I suspect much of the book’s beauty is lost on me.
My big takeaway is a story about love overwhelming rationality, of holding two disparate thoughts at the same time, separating generalities from particulars, and the banality of everyday life. There are some fun features to discover, such as ‘laundry day’ coming once per year, which in my current life would be quite a time savings. Other than those well-written details of life in those times, I can’t say that I discovered many interesting ideas or perspectives from this book. It tells the story with a strong patriarchal tone, which doesn’t appeal to me, and I never really connected with any of the characters. It was a fine book, and I am pleased to have read it, and look forward to finding the next book.