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Hausfrau (2015)

af Jill Alexander Essbaum

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
68212725,939 (3.34)46
"Anna Benz, an American woman in her thirties, lives in comfort and affluence with her Swiss banker husband and their three young children in a picture-perfect suburb of Zurich. Despite the tranquility and order of her domestic existence, Anna is falling apart inside. Isolated in a foreign country and a faltering marriage, Anna begins three adventures to restart her life: Jungian analysis, German language classes, and a series of extramarital affairs whose consequences she cannot foretell. Hausfrau is a daring novel about marriage, fidelity, morality, and most especially, self: how we create ourselves and how we lose our selves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves"--… (mere)
  1. 00
    Adèle af Leïla Slimani (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Two unhappily married women, living in Europe, expressing their unhappiness through infidelity. I strangely enjoyed both of these.
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» Se også 46 omtaler

Engelsk (125)  Svensk (1)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (127)
Viser 1-5 af 127 (næste | vis alle)
I barely made it to 70 pages -- while I can somewhat relate to the woman how lives in a foreign country and is not able to connect with the culture around her, I found the plot dragging, and the disruption with the psychiatric sessions just plain annoying and contrived. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
"A bored woman is a dangerous woman." Anna Benz's pragmatic therapist tells her. This proves true as she embarks on a series of affairs in an attempt to fill a longing and an unhappiness as deep as Lake Zurich. Anna is an American expat living in Switzerland with her husband (native Swiss), Bruno, and their 3 young children, Viktor, Charles, and Polly Jean. Whether this was undiagnosed post-partum depression, or the difficulty of integrating into the cold Swiss culture, or unresolved issues from Anna's past is undetermined but she is incapable of finding happiness or even satisfaction in her current life, which to the outside observer looks idyllic. Despite having an available mother-in-law to watch the children, enrolling in a German class, and making an ex-pat friend, Mary, Anna cannot assimilate (or chooses not to). She reflects: "The problem wasn't the going, the problem was belonging where she went." The book is steamy -- there are shades of 50 Shades, but there is great intelligence here and it is extremely well-written, unlike the comparison. The time in the novel is very fluid between past and present -- Anna's memory plays a large role and there is also extremely interesting analysis of language (Swiss-German in particular), psychoanalysis as Anna works with her therapist, and chemistry, particularly fire, which Anna is playing with. The question is not will she get caught, but when. Sadly, it takes a tragedy to bring the whole thing crashing down, though Anna is somewhat resilient and although extremely immoral, also likeable. "Shame is psychic extortion" her therapist tells her, though Anna could use a dose. As an audio book, it was excellent with the Swiss-German accents, though I'm sure I was blushing on more than one occasion. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
I didn't love reading this book, and I certainly didn't love Anna, its main character. She is almost void in her coldness toward others. But her story was compelling enough that I stuck with it and appreciated the ending. It is a story to think about, and worth the joyless reading. ( )
  klnbennett | Oct 7, 2020 |

Hausfrau is a dark but intensely captivating debut novel by Jill Alexander Essbaum. It is an extremely insightful psychological study of an American ex-pat living in Switzerland with her Swiss husband and their three children. This incredible work of fiction is very contemplative as Anna Benz tries to understand the reasons for her dissatisfaction with what should be a happy life as a wife and mother.

Anna is in her late thirties, bored with and disconnected from her life. She is a very passive woman who cannot quite understand how she ended up a hausfrau (housewife) in a foreign country. She is in psychotherapy, but due to her lack of honesty with her therapist, she is nowhere close to getting the root of her unhappiness. Through a series of passionate but (mostly) unemotional affairs, she temporarily escapes her sadness but she is also deeply shamed by her self-perceived lack of morals. Anna is quite introspective throughout the novel, but her lack of self-awareness and self-control take her down an increasingly risky path.

In all honesty, Anna is not a particularly likable or sympathetic character. It is incredibly frustrating watching her sit on the sidelines of her life while at the same time making horrible decisions that have the potential to blow up in her face. Her flashes of clarity are fleeting and in fact, she uses her passivity as an excuse not to accept any type responsibility for either the good or bad things in her life. While there are times when it is easy to feel compassion for Anna, this is quickly lost as she lets circumstances spiral out of her control due to her refusal to do something, anything, to help herself.

A more complete picture of Anna forms as readers follow her through her interactions with her family, her psychotherapy appointments and her German classes. Also particularly useful are flashbacks to a pivotal relationship that occurred a few years earlier. The novel occasionally feels a little disjointed as the story flashes back and forth between the past and present, but these shifts are less confusing over time.

Hausfrau is a fascinating character study with an unusual but very compelling storyline. Overall, it is a thought-provoking debut novel by Jill Alexander Essbaum that is quite riveting. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
This is a very well-written book. There are many memorable lines in it. I won't quote them. You should read it yourself.

This is not the sort of book I usually enjoy. Without having read it, from hearing only a description of its content, I might have though it was just the sort of bourgeois, self-indulgent crap that I can't stand. It is a mark of its quality, I think, that I enjoyed it anyway.

This is a very sad book. Understand that, going in, and anything you might find objectionable can be seen in that context. Personally, I didn't mind. It reminded me of someone I used to know, a long time ago. It made me feel sorry for Anna. ( )
  ralphpalm | Nov 11, 2019 |
Viser 1-5 af 127 (næste | vis alle)
This is a focused tale, immersed in the complicated thoughts and days of the ailing heroine … Anna isn't very likeable. This doesn't make her, Essbaum's insightful literary invention, any less interesting.
 
…the tale of a morose, insufferable American narcissist…Ms. Essbaum’s prose […] can have all the charm of a sink full of dishwater.
tilføjet af Widsith | RedigerNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Mar 19, 2015)
 
A powerful, lyrical novel, Hausfrau plumbs the psychology of a lonely, unfaithful housewife and unravels the connections between our words and our deeds.
 
Hausfrau is sometimes ponderous, and its imagery rather laboured […] in spite of all this, it succeeds. It is that impossible thing: a page-turner about depression.
tilføjet af Widsith | RedigerThe Guardian, Rachel Cooke (Mar 8, 2015)
 
Rather like her own experience of those sexual assignations, we find much here that is interesting, less that engages. But it’s refreshing to discover a female protagonist who is allowed to be quite such a casual wife, such a detached mother, such an unromantic lover.
tilføjet af Widsith | RedigerThe Independent, Shelley Harris (Mar 7, 2015)
 
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Anna was a good wife, mostly.
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"Anna Benz, an American woman in her thirties, lives in comfort and affluence with her Swiss banker husband and their three young children in a picture-perfect suburb of Zurich. Despite the tranquility and order of her domestic existence, Anna is falling apart inside. Isolated in a foreign country and a faltering marriage, Anna begins three adventures to restart her life: Jungian analysis, German language classes, and a series of extramarital affairs whose consequences she cannot foretell. Hausfrau is a daring novel about marriage, fidelity, morality, and most especially, self: how we create ourselves and how we lose our selves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves"--

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