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Two Novellas: The Woman Taken in Adultery, The Poggenpuhl Family Paperback – November 1, 1995
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Top customer reviews
We have an inkling of future events when he purchases a copy of Tintoretto's 'The Woman taken in adultery'. On seeing it, Melanie comments:
'They've told her over and over again how wicked she's been. And now she believes it, or at least she wants to believe it. But her heart rebels and just won't accept it...I must confess, I really find her very touching. There's so much innocence in her guilt. And it's as if it had all been predestined.'
Shortly thereafter, Van der Straaten has a young trainee - Rubehn- come to stay with them...
While other 19th century novels on this theme show the wretchedness of the woman, this actually has quite a happy ending. Van der Straaten is a good natured chap (indeed it is Melanie's own daughter who is truly judgemental) .
Not very outstanding read -I found some of the dinner table conversations rather obscure and dull.
(POGGENPUHLS) This features a widow and her three unmarried daughters attempting to live in genteel poverty in 1890s Berlin. It's quite humorous in the early pages where we are introduced to the rather 'la-di-da' eldest daughter and the two younger
who had 'adapted themselves to their condition and to the modern world, and they worked more or less as a team.' Manon 'had no gifts at all except the gift of making herself universally popular, especially in bankers' families.' Saintly mother, wastrel younger son, rich relations...these make up the storyline (such as it is.)