Friday, May 12, 2017

The Parent Trap by Erich Kastner

My wonderful hubby got this book for me for my birthday, as I have been wanting to read it since realizing one of my childhood favorite movies is based on it. It was also a perfect fit for this year's Back to the Classics Challenge for classic in translation.

Like both movies the book begins at a camp where 2 identical girls, Luise and Lottie, meet and have no idea how they could look so much alike. As they talk to each other they come to realize they are twins who were split up by their parents and make plans to switch places. But this is where the similarities to the movies ends! The book is based in Germany and Austria, where the girls live. There interactions from the beginning, though full of question and wonder, is mostly civil and the quickly get along without the help of an isolation tent. We see them each with their parents and the parents are VASTLY different than the parents portrayed in either movie. The father is a famous conductor in Vienna and has almost no time for his girl. The mother lives alone with her daughter and is not wealthy or surrounded by family. But this adds to the story line in my opinion. What is even better is these girls spend almost a full semester with the opposite parent before they know what is going on! The way the swap is figured out is so much better and more interesting than the movies.I was so shocked by the difference but really do believe the story is better for them.

Because it's translated I have no real view on the style, but the translation I read was a quick and easy read. Overall I enjoyed this book.

4 stars


  1. Fascinating! I had no idea this was not an American story, or even based on a book for that matter. (I loved the original Haley Mills film...that later version, not so much)

    1. Agreed! And the book was so much more interesting!