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Download Children and Fire: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Children and Fire: A Novel, by Ursula Hegi Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ursula Hegi Narrator: Ursula Hegi Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Burgdorf Cycle Release Date:
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Though more than fifteen years have passed since Ursula Hegi’s Stones from the River captivated critics and readers alike, it retains its popularity, is on academic reading lists, and continues to be adopted by book groups.

Also set in Burgdorf, Germany, Hegi’s Children and Fire tells the story of a single day that will forever transform the lives of the townspeople. At the core of this remarkable novel is the question of how one teacher—gifted, joyful, passionate, and inventive—can become seduced by propaganda during the early months of Hitler’s regime and encourage her ten-year-old students to join the “Hitler-Jugend” with its hikes and songs and bonfires. Membership, she believes, will be a step toward better schools and better apprenticeships.

How can a woman we admire choose a direction we don’t admire? So much has changed for the teacher, Thekla Jansen, and the people of Burgdorf in the year since the parliament building burned. Thekla’s lover, Emil Hesping, is sure the Nazis did it to frame the communists. But Thekla believes what she hears on the radio, that the communists set the fire, and she’s willing to relinquish some of her freedoms to keep her teaching position. She has always taken her moral courage for granted, but when each silent agreement chips away at that courage, she knows she must reclaim it.

Hegi funnels pivotal moments in history through the experiences of individual characters: Thekla’s mother, who works as a housekeeper for a Jewish family; her employers, Michel and Ilse Abramowitz; Thekla’s mentally ill father; Trudi Montag and her father, Leo Montag; Fräulein Siderova, midwife to the dying; and the students who adore their young teacher. As Hegi writes along that edge where sorrow and bliss meet, she shows us how one society—educated, cultural, and compassionate—can slip into a reality that’s fabricated by propaganda and controlled by fear, how a surge of national unity can be manipulated into the dehumanization of a perceived enemy and the justification of torture and murder.

Gorgeously rendered and emotionally taut, Children and Fire confirms Ursula Hegi’s position as one of the most distinguished writers of her generation.

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bexj

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Merlee | 6/23/2011

    " Outstanding! One of the best books I have read this year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laura | 6/11/2011

    " A tale of a teacher in 1934 Germany as she tries to protect herself and her students from the increasing influences of Nazisim. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Pam | 6/8/2011

    " Beautiful addition to Hegi's Burgdorf stories -- lovely writing, difficult themes -- how did every day Germans fall under Hitler's influence? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by April | 6/6/2011

    " A flawed main character who pulls you into the story. Lots of interesting characters. "

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