My strongest memory of this book by Cæcilie Lassen, is how hard it was to come by. That was eighteen years ago, so I thought that with the internet it would probably be easy peasy today. It may be, but a quick search yields no book for sale. And I don’t need another copy, as friend Pippi eventually unearthed someone who would sell me the book, and post it from Denmark to England. Because the trouble started with the witch turning snobbish and insisting on reading Lulu in the original Danish. The translation would have caused no problems at all, but why make life easy?
It began with me reading an interview with Cæcilie, and I thought the book, set in Copenhagen during the war, sounded so interesting, that I had to have it. In Danish. It’s Cæcilie’s second novel, and was first published in 1988, when she was seventeen. That’s second novel, and aged seventeen. Sickening how some people can be successful so young. (Just a bit jealous.) I’ve had a little look on Google and Wikipedia for fresh information about Cæcilie, and she seems to have written at least eleven novels by now.
Anyway, Lulu is a girl of sixteen in Copenhagen during the war. She’s still at school, but she joins the resistance; at first doing simple jobs, but gradually getting more dangerous tasks. She is arrested by the Gestapo, has to stay away from her family, and she falls in love. It’s a fairly typical coming-of-age novel, but I think what set it apart for me was reading about the war in Denmark, and also having someone that age – neither a child nor an adult – being active in the war effort.
I’m glad I persevered despite my shopping difficulties, and I’m sure the story gained by being in the original language, although I might not repeat the experience any time soon. And I always feel rather guilty thinking of what I put several people through, searching for my book.