Alfred Neven DuMont
St. Martin's, 2010 (2010)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Wanda Plourde
lfred Neven DuMont's
, originally published in German as
Reise zu Lena
, is the story of a man in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Albert is struggling to cope with retirement, his beliefs, and his illness. He is also trying to come to terms with the loss of his daughter Gloria. She was twenty years old when she died in a diving accident off the Cayman islands. Albert's marriage is in tatters, due to Gloria's death.
loria suffered from depression - whether it was inherited or was treatable is unknown. The only person she let inside her defensive walls was her best friend Christie. After Gloria's death, Christie dissappeared to Africa, to mourn the loss of her friend. Christie turns up two years later at Albert's door, and could possibly shed some light on the death of his daughter. Albert's wife leaves to be with her dying sister, so he is left alone to confront Christie.
hristie takes Albert to her mother's country house and reads to him from the diary she has written. Christie's mother Lena encourages this.
his novel takes readers on a journey. It is interesting to be in Albert's head as he realizes life's trials and tribulations. There is an enlightenment about love's different stages as they pass by. I found the story fascinating, an eye opener about embracing life as it is thrown at us. Note that Alfred Neven DuMont is eighty three, still an avid diver, and this is his first novel. I applaud him.
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