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Inseparable [Kindle Edition]

Dora Heldt , Jamie Lee Searle

Kindle Price: CDN$ 6.49 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

Still reeling from her recent divorce, Christine, the beloved protagonist of Dora Heldt’s uproarious Life After Forty, is sure that yet another birthday is the last thing she needs. But here it comes nonetheless, the big 4-4, in all its lonely midlife glory. Making matters worse is Christine’s fear that she has always relied too heavily on the support of her girlfriends. As the big day nears, she begins to think that none of those women can understand just what she's going through. Alarmed by Christine’s growing despair, her best friend and sister hatch a plan to prove her wrong: They will gather together all of Christine’s old friends from the various stages of her life and throw a surprise party the likes of which she has never seen. Of course, finding all of those women turns out to be easier said than done! The final result proves to be a priceless gift, a moving and laugh-out-loud funny portrait of one woman as told through the stories of her friendships.

About the Author

Dora Heldt was born in 1961 on the North Sea island of Sylt. She was trained as a bookseller and has worked in publishing since 1992. She is the author of Life After Forty and Vacation with Dad, which spent sixty-one weeks on Germany’s bestseller list upon its release there in 2008. She lives today in Hamburg, Germany. Jamie Lee Searle is a German-to-English translator who translates literary fiction, short stories, and articles for publishers and organizations throughout Europe and the United States. She also teaches German language and translation to undergraduate students. She is co-founder of the publishing collective And Other Stories, which seeks to promote and publish international literature in translation in the United Kingdom. She lives in London.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 521 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611090229
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (Dec 6 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LP2PQM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,915 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  68 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not memorable Feb. 23 2012
By JoanOH - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I enjoyed the story line of INSEPARABLE - reuniting old friends to prove that girl friends are a necessity of life - but I'm afraid the writing style (or perhaps the translation?) left me cold. What should be a heartwarming story was instead difficult to follow and often emotionally cold. Although the main characters were fairly likable, there were so many sub-characters that it became difficult to keep them all straight. The main theme of the plot - tracking down childhood friends - seemed a bit forced. Could it really be that easy to track down people you haven't seen for 20 and 30 years?

This story could have been successful with a great deal more warmth and fewer characters to keep track of. It was an OK read, but I doubt I'll remember more than the title just a few weeks from now.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre - didn't love or hate it Feb. 16 2012
By Hope T. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Inseperable is a story about a woman turning 40 and the relationships she'd had in the past years with her "best" friends. For her birthday, her sister and a few friends decide to reunite all the friends for a big get together. The story goes through each friend and what happened to distance them from each other. It's pretty formulaic and the writing isn't very polished. It's not a book I'd recommend to a friend. There are many others I've read recently that I'd recommend first.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Club read Feb. 13 2012
By Book Lover - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Inseparable by Dora Heldt is a real girlfriend book. Christine is turning forty and not looking forward to this milestone. Christine is divorced and childless, with no prospects to change either status. Her sister and her best friend try to cheer her up with a surprise birthday party. The friend and sister plan to gather all of Christine's old friends for this party and therein lies the story. Finding these friends, convincing them to attend the party and then actually getting Christine to attend is funny and poignant at the same time. This book is for women and their friends to read. It is a good "book club" read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ganz gut (It's just OK) Feb. 7 2012
By Connie - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I am a German major from years ago and even lived in Hamburg as an exchange student. I am familiar with Hamburg and some of the other locales, and even am familiar with some of the famous names like Mireille Mathieu (mentioned on page 61; a French singer with a pageboy black haircut) and locations around the town such as the Aussenalster, the city's lake. I am familiar with Germany of the 1960s through the 1980s, and this part of the background was refreshing to read about again. Northern Germany is alive with energy and history and I always enjoy reading about German culture.

But this book somehow left me a little confused. There were just too many people in this book, it was hard to keep up with all the characters.

The beginning starts out interesting enough. Christine Schmidt, a successful magazine writer, is turning 44 at the end of the year and her coworkers Gabi, Luise and Dorothea along with her editor Ruth and sister Ines want to throw her a lavish surprise party. They want to invite people from Christine's life that she's been friends with over the years. This requires detective work and digging into the past. This is a nice concept but we quickly learn that one person, Linda Love, is hard to track down and another, Frauke, an old childhood friendship that faded when the girls married, moved elsewhere and had children. This part is quite expected, but what gets confusing are all the additional characters introduced throughout the book, ie family members and coworkers of these friends that are background fudder and don't develop further. This can be distracting.

Germans would call this story a "Weibergeschichte," a more crude way of describing "chick lit." There are affairs, jealousies, catfights, remorse, regret and fears all associated with getting older. Chapters are interspersed with articles Christine has written about relationships and other female issues in the magazine Femme. The perspective is in the third person limited form, but it does jump around, and I was only able to make sense of all the characters by writing them down in the back of the book for reference.

There is a nice twist toward the end. The reader is led to believe something will happen between Christine and her married lover Richard. Yet all throughout the pages the reader also understands that this meandering story is about women friendships, from anger and distrust to jealousy and regret and sharing and not sharing secrets. It's about the bond women develop over the years. The attempt to this story is fine, but somehow it left me rather numb, a rather void "So what?" that overcame me as I read the final pages.

Translated from the 2006 book "Unzertrennlich," the English version is fine; only minor flaws I could see. But for someone not familiar with German culture some of the background locations may seem foreign, although they all don't need to be understood to understand this book about rejuvenated friendships. What is more of a flaw is the lack of character development, the rambling settings and the complicated add-ons of friends of friends, neighbors and coworkers of old friends. Unfortunately, this kind of writing is common in contemporary German literature as German literature is known for its psychodrama. For the reader familiar with German literature and culture, this book may be pleasing, but for a standard literature fan, this story may disappoint. I really wouldn't include this work as an example of world literature worth reading.

As they say in German, "Schade."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IN SEARCH OF OLD FRIENDS.... Nov. 12 2011
By Laurel-Rain Snow - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
In this sequel to Life After Forty, Christine is approaching her forty-fourth birthday. Her career is going well: she works for a publishing company and has several regular columns for magazines. She enjoys her life in Hamburg, with amiable friendships.

But in a conversation with one of these friends, Dorothea, she seems a bit jaded about friendships lasting.

From this discussion, Dorothea has an idea and enlists the help of Christine's sister and a few other friends to put together a surprise birthday party for Christine that will include friendships of Christine's from the distant past.

The quest is lengthy and described in detail; there are questionnaires to include with letters to the individuals.

From this point on, we are shown glimpses of some of the friends in their current lives, with occasional peeks into Christine's life, and her tedious relationship with Richard.

I liked the premise of the story, but as it continued, I thought it soon lost its luster. Or maybe something was lost in translation. At any rate, the story plodded along and I no longer connected with any of the characters. In fact, sometimes I got confused, as many of them had similar names. I felt like a passenger adrift in the sea, and just wanted to get to shore. The most I can give Inseparable is three stars.

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