Harriet Köhler

And then the Silence

Und dann diese Stille

And then the Silence

What’s it like to lose your wife in old age and suddenly realise you never talked to her – or not about the things that have been on your mind for 60 years? What’s it like for a senior citizen to move back in with his father and look after a man who has been a stranger to him all his life? And what’s it like when you were always sure you were different to your parents but now that you’re in love, you realise you are just as stubborn and incapable as they were?

Walther sits at Grethe’s sickbed and looks on helplessly as he misses his last opportunity to tell her everything. Jürgen wants to help his father and moves back in with him but is rejected. However, over time a new closeness develops between the two men.
When Walther had returned from the war and POW camp, Jürgen was already ten years old. He had not seen his son grow up. These years have always separated them – years in which many things happened, experiences that words cannot describe. But Walther needs nursing and Jürgen becomes his carer, and father and son can no longer avoid each other. When they are visited by Jürgen’s son Nicki, who has seriously fallen in love for the first time and is discovering how wonderful and difficult it is to love someone, the wall of silence starts to crumble and the past shines through. Old, hitherto unspoken conflicts boil to the surface and lead the way to a cautious and tender reconciliation.
After her highly acclaimed debut “Ostersonntag”, Harriet Köhler proves once again to be a sensitive and shrewd observer of family relationships. With a magnificent language and intensive images, she describes grief and longing, anger and love, but also the possibility of understanding and forgiving – and in doing so she spans almost casually the story of three generations affected by the late repercussions of war.


Novel

Kiepenheuer&Witsch

ISBN: 978-3-462-04191-0
release: 01. January 1900
320 pages, gebunden mit SU
Available

Price

Germany
19,95 €
Switzerland
0,00 sFr
Austria
20,60 €

About the Author

Harriet Köhler, born in 1977 in Munich, studied art history and attended the German Journalists’ School. She lives and works in Frankfurt am Main.