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The Poll Diaries

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In the summer of 1914, thirteen-year-old Oda Schaefer leaves Berlin to join her family on an estate in Estonia. Oda arrives there bearing her mother’s coffin and a gift requested by her surgeon father: a jarred, two-headed fetus to add to his laboratory of gruesome curiosities. Ebbo Schaefer sees himself in his daughter when she calmly learns to suture the corpse of a cat. What he fails to recognize is that their interest in science is their only similarity. His dedication to experimentation is linked to an appalling obsession with power and destruction, while Oda is genuinely curious about life. When she strays from a family picnic and discovers a badly wounded Estonian anarchist, she helps him without a second thought, smuggling him into her father’s lab and putting her new surgical skills to good use. As their illicit friendship deepens, family turmoil escalates and war closes in.