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In the Wake

by Per Petterson

Six years after the accident which killed his parents, Arvid still struggles to come to terms with survivor's guilt and the knowledge that not only can he never have an ideal relationship with his father, but he has also driven away his wife and children. Not an easy read - Arvid's thoughts and recollections stray randomly across his life as memories trigger more memories - but this helped me become involved and hope for Arvid's future happiness.

Extract

I am not sure now what Aunt Solgunn has told me and what I have made up myself, but what I think as I lie in the dark under the duvet looking up at the ceiling is that I would never have believed he was capable of it: passions, deep despair. All that. And would it have made any difference if it was something I had known while he lived?
'Without a doubt,' I say aloud, 'it would have made a great difference,' and I know this is true, and nothing I can do or anything I can say will make time stop and go into reverse and make that difference less.
Translated by Anne Born

Parallels

And When Did You Last See Your Father? by Blake Morrison
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
 

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