A novelistic image of an ordinary middle-aged woman who has to start over.
Jiří Hájíček’s ninth novel describes over twelve chapters the story of a university professor approaching fifty whose husband leaves her for a younger woman. Her children have now grown up, she is estranged from her sister, her parents have to be looked after and she is beginning a new life in a South Bohemian village – an environment which is emblematic for Hájíček. He once again demonstrates his strengths as a character writer and expert on female qualities. The reader sympathises with the main character, Marie, due to her realism and sense of irony. The aim of the novel is not only to describe the romances of an abandoned middle-aged woman, but to show readers that even a wearisome, lonely, difficult, though mainly ordinary life is worthy of a novelist’s attention.
“Life is no picnic. Problems arise from a troublesome family history, from the relationships in a village where they haven’t quite forgiven you for going to the city in search of a better life, and from ideas about responsibility and about yourself. Jiří Hájíček writes extremely well about all of these. He does so with ease, a knowledge of human nature and with humour.”
“Hájíček has written one of his best books – quiet and ordinary, distinctly unaggressive, in fact minimalist. Its strength lies in the spoken and unspoken, in the possible, in a subject which everyone can immediately relate to.”