A 2001 Novel

by Bodil J. Jensen, Agnes J. Jensen,
144 pages,
ISBN: 0778010155

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First Novels - Dentistry for Primates
by Eva Tihanyi

Dilemma (Oberon, 128 pages, $27.95 cloth, $13.95 paper), by Agnes Jelhof Jensen, translated by Bodil Jelhof Jensen, takes place during World War II in German-occupied Denmark. Fiona Larsen, a waitress in a Copenhagen café, had three years earlier "adopted" a little Jewish girl, Rine, now six, "to earn some easy money." She presents her as her niece, but as the round-up of Jews escalates, she realizes that Rine could be found out and that their situation is getting increasingly perilous. She decides that she and the little girl, whom she has grown to love as if she were her own daughter, must flee.

The story is straightforward, told in clear, unadorned prose. The focus is on the events, the characters of the people who live them, not on the words themselves. The magnitude of Fiona's situation-the fear, the mistrust, the danger, the barely imaginable awfulness-needs no embellishment.


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