Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Short Supply: Time of Useful Consciousness a novel by Jennifer Ott

Time of Useful Consciousness by Jennifer Ott is an exciting novel of post-World War II Germany. The title is an interesting term in aviation that provides a powerful metaphor for describing the very difficult social/economic conditions of the time period in Deutschland. Louisa Unger is a pilot, rare in a man’s specialty area. Successful in her flight training, Louisa becomes involved inadvertently in an airborne smuggling operation and is arrested and confined to an American Military prison. Louisa is interrogated, and she tells the story of Germans trying to reconstruct their country and deal with the guilt of the War-time atrocities of the Nazi regime.

Louisa’s account of the year preceding her capture involves descriptions of flying, personal relationships, post-War hardships, and difficult conflict resolutions. Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC) is the amount of time an individual is able to perform flying duties efficiently in an environment of inadequate oxygen supply. The aftermath of war waged within a country is a shortage of adequate resources to rebuild its culture on a grand scale. There is also a decreased supply of personal resilience to reconnect with family and develop new loving relationships in an atmosphere low on moral identity. Some of Ott’s characters, like Louisa, react positively in the TUC physical/social environment and others negatively making for an exciting narrative. I give the novel 4 stars for its unique and interesting historical perspective.

I was given a copy of the novel by the author for an honest review.

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