A woman travels to a hunting lodge with her cousin Luise and her cousin’s husband Hugo. They plan to spend a nice weekend there. But on the first evening, Luise and Hugo head into town. When they aren’t back the next day, the woman heads out to see where they have gotten to. But before she gets into town, she hits an invisible wall that seems to surround her. Seeing no life on the other side of the wall, she believes that it is the result of some chemical warfare and starts to wait for the victors to find her. As time passes and nobody shows up, she begins to make a life for herself, all alone at the cabin apart from a dog, a cat and a cow.
Die Wand is a very calm novel where nothing much happens. But nevertheless it draws you in and doesn’t let you go easily.
While reading the book, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had read it before. I really don’t know why this is – I can’t remember actually reading the book before (and if I read it so long ago that I can’t remember reading it, why would I remember certain details). I dunno.
Anyway, whether read or re-read, it was really good, and that even though, as I said, it doesn’t have much of a plot and is basically just an enumeration of duties and work, with the occasional (sometimes pretty feminist) observation.
Haushofer manages to transport not only the woman’s loneliness, but also the sense of impending doom that threads through the story – which is also one of the strong parts that keeps you reading and interested. Plus, it really reinforced my wish to get a pet.
I didn’t think that I would like this book as much as I did. But I can only recommend it.