A wonderful novella with echoes of Greek myth, although told from Kalypso's point of view instead of Odysseus'. But that's only really a starting point. I'm used to reading about World War II from the Allied side, so it's another reversal to consider the war from the pov of ordinary Germans. Timm comes at it from all sides. If food is life, and war is death, he's continually circling around, while his protagonist, Lena Brucker, tries to steal some happiness and love out of the miserable chaos. I was reminded of Fassbinder's The Marriage of Maria Braun.
A bonus: it looks like there was a movie
adaptation in Germany!