Hannah B


219 pages
ISBN 0-920544-81-9
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by June M. Blurton

June M. Blurton is a retired speech/language pathologist.


Anna Winters leaves America, dyes her hair red, and enters present-day
Germany as a tourist. Her mission, a personal one, is to kill Pastor
Louis Bergmann—who may have betrayed five Jewish refugees to the
Germans in 1944—and to find out the truth about Hannah, his Jewish

Bergmann and his wife live in a village near Hanover, and Anna arrives
there knowing that Hannah is dead and Louis is in a Hanover hospital
after suffering a stroke. Anna integrates herself into the life of the
village by moving in with a garbage picker and his smelly grandmother.

It is with her descriptions of the village life that Ross shines—the
quirkiness of the individuals, the long, long memories, the endless
repetitions and rehashing of incidents. There are many characters, all
easily identifiable and all speaking with their own voices. Equally
vivid are the scenes set during the war, the ever-present fear, the
cold, and the hunger. Even there the writing has lightness and humor.

This book has charm, even though Anna Winters does not achieve her
mission and the denouement is less than dramatic.


Ross, Veronica., “Hannah B,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/12051.