A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones

Berlin in the winter; a mixture of coldness and comfort. The meanings we draw from city spaces has always been intriguing to me, and in Gail Jones’s latest novel, the city is everything.

Nabocov’s prose informs the way Berlin is read, literature being a love of all the characters, but the city itself is the structure to all that unfolds. It’s a breathing, feeling entity, full of clues and symbols. The weather regulates protagonist Cass, and changes her mood. The trains are her comfort, a skeleton to haunted Berlin, and a way to feel direction in a directionless state.

Jones encapsulates what it feels to be a foreigner in an unfamiliar city, and the process of falling in love with its darkness and mystery. A Guide to Berlin is an exploration on the way history, memory and literature converge to make meaning in a city space.

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