Gerhardt’s Children is an extraordinary family saga about a fiercely German Catholic clan growing up in midwestern America.
Epic in scope and emotional appeal, it is a story of angry sons and rebellious daughters, hapless mates and lovers, trapped in hopeless entanglements of need and resentment; of a vibrantly alive young woman dying of cancer and an emotionally ravaged young man struggling to be reborn; of a plainly human hunger for love at the mercy of iron traditions that bend only in madness.
Brilliantly evoking the essence of Germanic America from the early 20th century to the present, Gerhardt’s Children presents the interwoven lives of the Sproul family with dazzling photographic clarity. The reader is drawn into a living album where the most intimate dreams and intense desires are as plainly revealed as births and deaths, and as unsparingly irreversible.
PRAISE FOR GERHARDT’S CHILDREN
“A superb novelist presents a book difficult to overpraise.”
– Publisher’s Weekly
“Powerfully written…a monolithic carving. In fiction and in fact, Gerhardt’s children are with us.”
“A rare, beautifully constructed and written book which not only haunts one afterwards, but pummels one into exploring hidden, half forgotten corners and truths in one’s own past.”
– West Coast Review of Books
“An arrestingly fine saga…Brilliant.”
– Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A novel consumed with family feelings. The Sproul tragedies flow through the narrator’s grieving mind, past and present swirling in parallel streams, bearing alluvial memories out to sea. It is a tricky narrative to bring off, involving as it does many centrifugal lives, but Mr. Mundis brings it off….A cumulative impact, with the narrator obsessively chanting family stories, pressing again and again into hidden places, offering universal family scenes that build into the eloquence of simple language borne up by strongly felt and true emotion.”
– New York Times
“The writing is superb. Mundis has written, quite simply, a beautiful book.”
– South Bend Tribune
“A sprawling, emotional novel containing within itself many of the representative experiences of Americans in the 20th century….As a literary creation, Idalla is superb, deserving of being numbered among the classic matriarchs of fiction….A mosaic of the American family experience…Novelists can and often do write as much history as historians.”
– Kansas City Star
“A brilliant novel, rich with such real people–all of them grasping and loving and destroying–that it is hard to think of it as fiction. In a style which is both beautiful and bluntly incisive, Mundis has created the living organism of an American family, struggling with itself and its ethics, bound by its past and groping for a future.”
– Pittsburgh Press
“A genuine pleasure to read.”
– Boston Globe