I had an Ilse when I was younger: my cousin was very beautiful, she seemed very self-assured and she was a compulsive liar. We didn't live together, but I adored her, and was so, so happy whenever she would spend time with me. It took me ages to figure out that she was using me and lying to me and I felt so stupid for not realizing it all sooner.
So reading Erika's story felt, in some ways, like reading my own story. She was so eager to please, so happy to be her sister's confidante that she was completely blindsided by the truth, because she refused to think about what was going on for a second. I was more than a bit disappointed in the character when she didn't confront her sister at the end, when she still craved her love, even though she now had other people she could trust, but I suppose that Erika is different from me as well, and can bear much more. I find it quite strange that in all the German books I've read so far, the characters are more... Real, as if the author never cared to make them likeable. This book is no exception: though Erika was mostly shown in a good light, I feel this was because the book was from her perspective, and even then, we were shown some pretty major character flaws. Plus, I feel like the whole book was incomplete, as what was, for me, the main conflict: Ilse's behavior - was unsolved, merely pushed back a bit more. I really wish there were a sequal, as these are characters I would love to revisit!