The English Girl 2 (Chapters 7-17)

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Stella is losing her innocence.

I think that her eagerness to stop being considered a girl might have made her rush things. She wants to be like Anneliese, who is sophisticated and world-wise, and I think this desire is now ruling her life.

When she visits the Historisches Museum, she meets a man, Harri. He tells her he is a doctor, a psychiatrist. They arrange to meet the next weekend when they kiss. Stella is smitten. And the following week when they go to a concert together, Stella boldly tells him that she wants to be with him. So Harri takes her to his apartment and they make love. Later she meets his mother and grandfather. As they later walk home, Harri tells her about the family’s worries. They are Jews, and they fear that what is happening in Germany with the Nazis and Jews will spread to Austria. We know that Harri’s worries are real because that is what happened. I am not sure when the Nazis took over Austria. I think it was before the war, so there is great danger for Harri and his family, which will mean heartbreak for Stella.

At home Stella helps Lukas with his English. It is clear that the boy misses Verity Miller, his previous nanny, and Stella tries to find out what happened to her. After talking to Janika, the cook, and Marthe, she learns that Marthe asked Verity to leave and she didn’t even let her say goodbye to Lukas. Stella isn’t able to learn more, but she knows there’s a mystery here. She even wonders if Verity had an affair with Rainer, but she is unable to find out. Rainer is a man who she has mixed feelings about. He seems to talk to her more than Marthe, and he is keen on her music. Actually, on one of the first days she and Rainer shared some music moments together: her playing the piano and him singing. And at some point she felt a jolt of desire for the man. Will something happen with him? I really want to know who Marthe and Rainer are really. What kind of relationship did they have with Stella’s mother? I have even entertained the idea that Rainer could even be Stella’s real father, but I don’t know. Stella hasn’t told the Krauses about Harri, and she has even lied to Rainer about going out with Anneliese to the concert instead of admitting she was going with Harri. I imagine this won’t lead to anything good. If the Krauses realise that she has lied to them, they might ask her to leave, and where will she go? Staying with Harri and his family will only cause more problems as they are Jews and we know what happened to the Jews back then.

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