The Blue Flower
By Penelope Fitzgerald
Why this book?
Biographical fiction treads a fine line: if it sticks too close to the known facts it can seem rather pointless, but if it strays too far from them it often feels dishonest. Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel about the early life of Friedrich von Hardenberg (better known as the poet Novalis) achieves the perfect balance. A moving love story, an immersive portrait of 19th century Germany, and a subtle meditation on the mystery of art, it is a work of soaring originality and tremendous beauty.
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