A full-fledged novel that opens its wings and flies as a young woman sets out from pre-War Germany to London , returns to Berlin and ends in Barbados. Yelin’s graphic novel opens up so much that happened in Europe in the twentieth century through Irmina’s finally unrequited love for a young Barbadian.
Irmina meets Harold, an Oxford student, at a cocktail party soon after she arrives in London, and she gets to know him as she attends a secretarial school and their romance deepens, through joyous times and the racism of the society, which she being German is outside.
In London, Irmina describes herself to Harold as “typist, a Fraulein, Suffragette, Bluestocking, Communist and Emigrant. She loses her accommodation, her parents are no longer able to send her money, and not wanting to become a maid, she returns to Germany, and reenters German society and meets a young architect, Gregor Meinrich. Hitler’s power is increasing, and:
Gregor: “Progress isn’t being made anymore”
Irmina: “But it MUST! It HAS to go on! We’re sacrificing so much here!
Gregor gives up architecture and joins the German army.
In the final section, Irmina now a school administrator, receives an invitation from Harold to visit him in Barbados, where he has become the Governor General.
The colours of Europe are greys and browns. the Caribbean has a little more green and blue although they are still muted, and the air of melancholy that hangs over Irmina’s life is only brightened slightly in this last chapter.