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Lea

by Pascal Mercier

A successful middle aged scientist, who has always achieved his goals, relates to a complete stranger he meets in a cafe, the failure in his relationship with his talented musician daughter. The story is told on an atmospheric and brooding car journey through France in winter. The two men discuss careers, relationships, failure and regret. Not a cheerful read but an interesting perspective on the family dynamic.

Extract

'My colleagues were angry with me for not going to the conference because of Lea's eczema - because of eczema!
- to present our latest research results. And above all the fact that I had cancelled without sending Ruth Adamek in my place. "Could it be that you've forgotten again?" she asked, and there was a harshness in her voice that showed me that I was losing more and more ground.
'The senior echelons of the university were disappointed, too. But there was no real apparent danger. As long as I didn't steal the silver spoons they couldn't touch me. And at the time I couldn't have known about the disturbing events that would lead me to steal them.
Translated by Shaun Whitehead

Parallels

American Pastoral by Philip Roth
 

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