By Erich Kastner
A.K.A. Lottie and Lisa. This is a charming little children’s book (age 9-12?) that was the basis of Disney’s beloved Hayley Mills vehicle: Parent Trap.
That’s how it is at Bohrlaken on Lake Bohren, where the story begins which I am going to tell you. It’s a rather complicated story. And now and then you’ll have to pay careful attention if you are really going to get the hang of it. It’s quite straightforward at the beginning; it doesn’t begin to get complicated till later on.
Lisa, the extrovert and Lottie, the introvert, meet at camp and discover that they are twins, separated by divorced parents. They change places to get to know the parents that they never even knew existed. In the book, the father is a well-known composer and conductor, and the mother is a hard working and struggling single mom. They divorced because the Dad, essentially selfish and focused on his music, was never home. He just wasn’t meant to be a family man, he thinks. Yet he is a loving father to Lisa, as long as she is not too intrusive. Like the movie, the father has been snared by a cold unpleasant woman. Naturally, the girls plot to become a family again. There are some minor differences (the girls live in Vienna and Munich, for example) between the movies and this book, but the changes worked for the movies, as the original plot points work for this little book.
September 12, 2017