a really good book descibing the live, morals and idiologies of higher middle class families in the late 1800's. goes sometimes into too drawn out detaield descriptions. once one gets past those one really gets a very insightful look as to what life in north-eastern germany was like in that time period. it really gets into peoples heads. anyone interested in history is sure to like this, it does take some patience to get past all the too detailed descriptions though. being german and having read this book at a young age in german i can probably relate more to it than the average american reader. however anyone with an open mind and given to histsory will be sure to enjoy this very realistic novel.