This spare and tender novel captures a simple gesture in a passing moment and how it haunts someone for life. These moments can change everything, or simply reveal needs and dreams deeply buried.

‘”Another one?” the young woman asked, and Egger nodded.  She brought a fresh glass, and as she leaned forward to put it on the table she touched his upper arm with a fold of her blouse. The touch was barely perceptible, yet it left a subtle pain that seemed to sink deeper into his flesh with every passing second. He looked at her, and she smiled.

All his life Andreas Egger would look back on this moment, again and again: that brief smile that afternoon in front of the quietly crackling guesthouse stove.’ 


Source: Robert Seethaler, A Whole Life, trans. Charlotte Collins (London: Picador, 2015), p. 8

Photo credit: Republica at pixabay


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