The latest addition to my website is Ulrike Almut Sandig‘s Monster wie wir (Monsters Like Us). The novel is narrated by Ruth, now a successful violinist to her almost invisible (in this novel) Finnish boyfriend Voitto. Ruth grew up in East Germany where she met Viktor at school and the two became friends. However, they have one other thing in common – both were sexually abused, Ruth by her grandfather and Viktor by his half-sister’s husband. They briefly talk about it but if you don’t talk about it, then it hasn’t really happened. That’s right isn’t it?. After the fall of Communism, Ruth gets on with her musical career while Viktor becomes a right-wing thug and then, improbably, an au pair in France where he recognises that the boy in his care is also a victim of sexual abuse and takes appropriate action. While the sexual abuse theme is key, we learn a lot about life in East Germany, from the founding to the fall and afterwards.