At the Bertoldi Pension, a run-down hostel in the East German Altmark region, the landlady Oda Prager and her chambermaid Maria Rosa run a tight ship. Those who accept their invitation must sit at their assigned tables and abide by their rules. Still, they are offered a glass of bubbly now and then. Shortly after they arrive, the guests are told, without further explanation, that they may not go outside for their own safety. Unsettled by the view of dark Salzruh Forest, they are compelled into uneasy camaraderie. Beyond the woods lies an old castle, once a popular resort for the Soviet-era trade union federation and still an enticing sight for the hostel guests. Who will be the first to venture forth? The former school principle troubled by the fall of the Berlin Wall? The devoted nurse and her child, who incessantly plays ball games? The alcoholic barkeeper? The older couple that actually wanted to celebrate their golden anniversary? Or the two lovers, young and beautiful, who puzzle the other guests to no end?
With her very special brand of humour, award-winning author Susan Kreller condenses elements of Gothic horror to create a deeply contemplative chamber piece on entrapment and freedom, staying or leaving, rebellion or reconciliation with one’s own fate.
»A must-read! Susan Kreller is the master of rhythm. I devour everything she writes.«