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On a Day Like This (2006)
by Peter Stamm
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"On a day like any other, Andreas changes his life. When a routine doctor's visit leads to an unexpected prognosis, a great yearning takes hold of him - but who can tell if it is homesickness or wanderlust, a death wish or a fresh lease on life? Andreas leaves everything behind - sells his Paris apartment, cuts off all social ties, quits his teaching job, and waves good-bye to his days spent sitting idly in cafes - to look for a woman he loved half a lifetime ago. The monotony of days had been keeping him in check; now he hopes for a miracle and for a new beginning.""Andreas's travels lead him back to his hometown in Switzerland where he returns to familiar streets, where his brother still lives in their childhood home, and where Fabienne, a woman he was obsessed with in his youth, continues to visit the same lake they once swam in together. Andreas, consumed with longing for his lost love and blinded by the uncertainty of his future, is tormented by the question of what might have been if things had happened differently." "In On a Day Like This, Peter Stamm's unobtrusive observational style allows us to journey with our antihero through his crises of banality, of living in his empty world, to the realization that life is finite - that one must live it, as long as that is possible."--BOOK JACKET.General Adult. In the quiet but evocative latest from Swiss writer Stamm (Unformed Landscape ), Andreas, a 40-something Swiss expatriate, teaches German in Paris and spends much of his time musing over Fabienne, the lost love of his youth, while sleeping with women he doesnt much like. Andreas thinks of himself as quiet and passive, and is thus surprised by the intensity of his reaction when told he may have a serious lung disorder. He reacts by allowing a casual affair with 24-year-old Delphine (a teaching colleague who had briefly been involved with Andreass best friend, Jean-Marc), to intensify. He tells Delphine about his illness; she reciprocates by taking care of him as he recovers from surgery. The two seem poised to take a chance on one another, but Andreass fidelity to Fabienne is still to be reckoned with. Andreass sorrows and changing perspectives are surprisingly powerful in this muted, thoughtful novel of second chances.
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