Stones From The River

Ursula Hegi

In this story of a small town in World War II Germany, the protagonist Trudi Montag is a dwarf—short, undesirable, different, the voice of anyone who has ever struggled to fit in.  Physically deformed, highly intuitive and perceptive beyond her years, anti-Nazi in wartime Germany, socially isolated except for a small number of other “different” individuals—children and adults—Trudi lives a story that is profound and emotionally powerful.  Although this is not a novel of history or of the Holocaust—Nazis and politics figure into the story only peripherally—Trudi is naturally drawn to harbor fugitive Jews as fellow outcasts, which lends poignancy and power to the deep reality that the author creates.  Having lived the first eighteen years of her life in Germany, Ursula Hegi is able to write this story from a perspective that is rare, fascinating, and in its own way universal.