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.
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