All of You Every Single One

Beatrice Hitchman. Overlook, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5693-1
Hitchman (Petite Mort) tells a preoccupying if underwhelming story of queer love in Vienna over the course of both world wars. Julia Lindqvist, 26, is unhappily married in 1910 when, during a vacation in France, she meets a young tailor, Eve Perret, who passes as a man. The women begin a loving, lifelong partnership in Vienna, where they try to find a way to live as a couple. Under the protective wing of Frau Berndt, they create a new family of neighbors and friends, but Julia yearns for a child. The narrative shifts perspectives between Julia, Eve, and other key people in their lives. Ada Bauer is abused by her foster brother, Emil, with whom glamorous hustler Rolf Gruber falls in love. Ada receives treatment from Sigmund Freud, but the other characters don’t believe her claims about Emil; later, Ada and Rolf hatch a plot to help Julia realize her dreams. Hitchman makes good use of interwar bohemian Vienna, presenting it as a time capsule of relative permissiveness before the rise of the Nazis, though the happy ending after WWII feels far-fetched, and the cameos of such historical figures as Freud don’t add much to the narrative. Though there are some bright moments, little distinguishes this in a crowded field. Agent: Olivia Davies, United Agents. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/19/2021
Release date: 01/01/2022
Genre: Fiction
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