Protagonists Kerstin Werner and Thomas Weidmann are filled with doubts, indecision, and worries, a situation exacerbated by the fact that they are now in their forties. She is divorced, has a mother with Alzheimer’s and a problematic sixteen-year-old son, and is about to lose some of her income. He had been let go from a university position and has been teaching high school for some years now, having drifted away from his partner in Berlin and into a mid-life funk. They come respectively from Cologne and Berlin, and are now both living to live in Bergenstadt, a fictitious Hessian small town (in every sense). How they find their way to each other is what drives this accessible and satisfying read.
Thome has a sharp ear for dialogue, an eye for local colour, and a fine understanding of interpersonal psychology.
about the author
Stephan Thome was born in Hessen in 1972. He read philsophy, religious studies and sinology at university, both in Berlin and in China, Taiwan and Japan. He has been living in Taipai, Taiwan, since 2005. This is his first novel.
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All recommendations from Autumn 2009