The Ghosts of Demmin

“The way in which Keßler describes and interweaves the lives of her protagonists is absolutely worth reading.”
- Sabine van Endert,

“The black swan on the cover is the totem of this impressive debut – a classic coming-of-age novel, complete with first love, a teenage friendship in crisis and infuriating parents who are all too easy to see through. There is a risk in linking collective, historical trauma to personal experience, in this case the mass suicides of May ’45 with a deceased brother and suicidal fantasies as a teen. Verena Kessler manages this balancing act with ease, partly because she doesn’t overdo the teenage tone. The character of Larry is precocious rather than rude.”- Richard Kämmerlings, Welt am Sonntag

About the instability of growing up and the question of how much the past determines our present

Larry lives in a city with an unusual history. At the end of the Second World War the greatest mass suicide in German history took place in Demmin. But for Larry, her hometown is one thing above all: boring. She wants to see the world as soon as possible and become a war reporter. While Larry is struggling with the ordeal of growing up, an old woman is about to move to a retirement home. While sorting through her house, she remembers the end of the war in Demmin and makes a momentous decision.
With ease and wit, Verena Keßler tells a story of grief and loneliness, friendship and first love. This is a novel about the lack of communication between generations and the possibility of overcoming it.