The Munich Vagabond
Rating: 4 / 5
Margrit Zalisz (pictured) is a born storyteller, as she proves in her charming human story of The Munich Vagabond.
A wealthy young woman, Verena, decides to help an old homeless man, Rudolf, she discovers at the station in Munich. While Rudolf can’t believe that someone wants to help him, Verena is full of compassion and kindness, and finds Rudolf a job at her father’s house. There he rediscovers the simple joy of good food, a roof over his head, a purpose to life and people who want to love him.
This is a story of redemption for Rudolf and the realisation of a mysterious connection with him for Verena. There is a complex story of how their lives interact and, while the ending is bittersweet, you finish the novel feeling glad that there are people who care for the less fortunate.
Margrit Zalisz based the story on a real encounter she had with a homeless man at Munich station some years ago. She shared a chocolate bar and her companionship with him. The memory stayed with Margrit, and the novelist decided to invent a backstory for him—The Munich Vagabond is the result.
What makes this book different is that Margrit applauds The Salvation Army for helping people just like her vagabond, so she decided to donate the profits from the sales of the book to the Salvos.
“After seeing the unfortunate man in Munich and so many other people in similar plights on the streets of Melbourne, it occurred to me that my story of a vagabond might be used to do some fundraising for the needy, and The Salvation Army are the right people for the job,” Margrit tells Warcry.
Margrit says the best summation of her book is a comment from retired Salvation Army Commissioner Wesley Harris.
“Heartening to read about someone who is given a chance to overcome his unfortunate circumstances…fact and fiction may have much in common and still make fascinating reading.”
Margrit Zalisz has written a book that is impossible to put down, and the journey she takes her reader on is inspiring.