Review: Für jede Lösung ein Problem by Kerstin Gier

Für jede Lösung ein Problem
Kerstin Gier
(cover art by Bianca Sebastian)
Bastei-Lübbe 2007
€7.99

Book review | Für jede Lösung ein Problem by Kerstin Gier | 3 stars

★★★☆☆

Synopsis (English translation below)* [trigger warning: suicide]

Gerri schreibt Abscheidsbriefe an alle, die sie kennt, und sie geht nicht gerade zimperlich mit der Wahrheit um. Nur dummerweise klappt es dann nicht mit den Schlaftabletten und dem Wodka – und Gerris Leben wird von einem Tag auf den anderen so richtig spannend. Dann es ist so eine Sache, mit seinen Mitmenschen klarzukommen, wenn sie wissen, was man wirklich van ihnen hält.

Gerri writes farewell letter to everyone she knows and isn’t very delicate about the truth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out with the sleeping pills and the vodka – and Gerri’s life becomes suddenly very exciting. It’s, after all, not easy to get along with people when they know how you really feel about them.

 Review

From the synopsis, I expected a bit more depression drama than there really was in the book. I wasn’t necessary disappointed by the lack of depressive talk, more surprised. I would expect that if life before trying to commit suicide was hell, life after definitely wouldn’t be any better. Yet somehow (and it makes sense) it is.

I quite enjoy Gier’s writing. It’s easy to follow, simple and funny. Even something like suicide can somehow be turned into something funny. Mind you, not suicide itself, just a lot of the surrounding issues (can’t say what without spoiling it).

The main character, Gerri, is a writer, which is always a good occupation to have. She is a bit of a strange mix of traits. She seems to think very rationally about her upcoming suicide and everything she needs to arrange for that, yet she believes in star signs. Her star sign – Virgo – is, according to her, very punctual and organized. True or not, Gerri is both punctual and organized. It’s a strange mix, yet I think a lot of people have these weird superstitions; there’s always some totally rational person that really avoids walking under ladders and such. For me then, I thought this was kind of cool.

Some of the side characters (though mostly one dimensional) are also pretty neat. A best friend who’s pregnant and hormonal. A mother who only cares about marrying out her daughter and is just plain rude under the guise of friendly advice. And some others I can’t really tell you about because it’ll spoil the plot. However, very funny and some very annoying

Sometimes I start wondering what Gier’s parents were like; in both the Mütter-Mafia series and this book the parents were absolutely dreadful, yet we all know these kind of people (or at least have heard of them).

The ending, though a bit predictable was lovely. Like… aww… so cute.

I did expect a bit more from the book in some ways. After all, it deals with a very serious topic like depression and suicide. From what the book tells us (and what should be obvious) is that Gerri was never really clinically depressed, she just wasn’t in a good phase in her life (as she later says herself). This is mostly clear from her fast recovery after her failed suicide attempt. I thought this could’ve been a bit clearer, as not everyone has studied psychology.

*Freely translated from German

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