* I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Sebastian is Christoph Fischer's second novel in his 'The Three Nations Trilogy', thematically connected to his first book, but can, without a doubt, stand on it's own. It depicts a powerful historical image of Vienna, during and after WW1 and the pain and suffering of the people living during that difficult era. Within this harsh and cruel reality blossoms a touching love story of the crippled, self-conscious young student, Sebastian. Conditioned at a young age not to expect to experience true love because of his condition, he muffles his emotions and sensuality behind his persona of dedicated student and teacher. Rejected and betrayed by his lovers, he turns all his passion into the success of his students.
The characters in this story are naturally shaped by the turbulent times; and take on such a hold on the reader that they seem real enough to be our neighbours and family. It is a coming of age for many of them, especially for Sebastian and Margit who eventually must come to terms with their own expectations of love. A book to be reckoned with, and to be placed on the required reading list of all teachers of young adults.