Paris 1505. Tragedy strikes at the rue Daniel bookshop of Arnoul De La Porte. Alone with his little son Paoul, he finds comfort in the writings of Luther and becomes involved in the illegal Reformation Movement. As Huguenot heretics, his descendants must walk a dangerous tightrope of pretence to prevent being executed. Luc is betrayed and escapes to relatives in Flanders with Sibylle, the daughter of his Protestant mentor.
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Theodor, the eighty-five year old protagonist in this engaging short novel, writes of his early years in Johannesburg in the 1930s and 1940s.
The story begins as he remembers how his journey began. It ends with his arrival in the fledgling Israeli state to serve his ancient homeland as a soldier-farmer on an outlying kibbutz. But the main focus is reserved for the often funny and always ironic accounts of the childhood and youth of an intelligent Jewish boy growing up in a dusty mining town in Africa.
LOVE AFFAIRS CAN INDUCE STEEP LEARNING CURVES.
This certainly happens to Margret Hansen, a young nursery school teacher living in a country town in post-war Germany, but longing for a broader stage upon which to live her life. Her wish seems to come true when, unexpectedly, she falls in love with a wealthy man from out of town. He opens her eyes to a glittering world beyond the drudgery of her provincial lifestyle and the home she shares with her mother and grandmother. But the stars in her eyes turn to tears when she discovers that she has become pregnant. Now she is forced to face herself, to untangle many dilemmas and to make some life-altering decisions.
“I needed to understand that sudden and intense link between grief and passion: the centrality of sexuality to affirming the life of the living.”
A searingly honest account of how, for Sophie, grief becomes a powerful catalyst for healing the past, unleashing the full force of her mid-life female sexuality and directing her to a new life. She emerges from the ashes of her grief with a strengthened identity and deeper understanding of both herself and family.