Roche, the daughter of an engineer and a politically and artistically active mother was born in High Wycombe UK near London and raised in Germany. In 1983, when Roche was five years old, Roche's parents divorced, an event and experience that Roche later incorporated in her novels Feuchtgebiete (English: Wetlands) and Schoßgebete [de] (English: Wrecked). She grew up in the Lower Rhine region, in a family with liberal views. Her primary school was in Niederkrüchten. In 1989 she went to the secondary school, St. Wolfhelm Gymnasium, in the neighbouring town of Schwalmtal. When she was 14 years old she moved to Mönchengladbach, where she was educated at the Hugo Junkers Gymnasium in Rheydt. She left school after the 11th grade, at the age of 17. She obtained initial stage experience in drama groups during her time at school.
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