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Book of Clouds, By Chloe Aridjis

Reviewed by Emma Hagestadt

Tatiana, the narrator of this distinctive debut, is from a large Jewish family in Mexico City.

For several years, she has lived in Berlin, getting by on a string of badly-paid jobs and dating men who aren't her type.

She spends her weekends takings long lonely walks through the city, and her days transcribing the notes of an elderly German-Jewish historian, Doktor Weiss.

It's through Weiss that she meets Jonas, a meteorologist keen to be her guide around the underworld of the city's "ghost stations" – the U-Bahn stations running under East Berlin.

Aridjis's appealingly unselfconscious debut has no particular destination, but memorably portrays what it is to form a relationship with a foreign city as rich in phantoms as post-unification Berlin.

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