How do you live once your daughters are dead?
‘Every parent’s ultimate nightmare is the prospect of something happening to their children. It happened to Geneviève. One night in 1980, her sister-in-law collected her seven- and four-year-old daughters from Paris to drive them to her in-laws. They never got there. Both children were killed in a terrible accident and somehow she has managed to describe the aftermath in this heart-rending collection of letters to a friend. I could hardly see the words of this beautiful, lucid and intelligent book through my tears.’ KATE FIGES, Woman’s Journal
Geneviève Jurgensen took her time, and then wrote down what happened, and how she carried on. Her clear, precise, brief book is an exceptionally moving and powerful testament to the mark a life – however brief, however infant – can make on the world.
Without ever being sentimental or preachy, this book manages to make you, the reader, for at least a passing instant, miss two lively little girls you never actually met – and thus you have a sense of what it must be like for Jurgensen, to miss them every waking hour, every day, forever.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
In 1980, due to a drunk-driver in another vehicle, French journalist Geneviève Jurgenson's two young daughters were thrown out of the window of her brother-in-law's car and killed more or less instantly. Since then, she has been a principled and able campaigner for road safety awareness, and has had two other children. This, though, is another sort of response to loss, a cry all the more raw for being disciplined and channelled.
The Disappearance is a book of letters to a friend, written, or apparently written, over an extended period, in which she discusses different aspects of her bereavement--the useless regrets at having let them go on that particular outing, the sense of there having been hours she could have spent just breathing in their presence and found other things to do, the counting off each year of what they would have been doing and simply how old they would have been had they lived. It is in the nature of grief to repeat itself, and Jurgenson finds ways to acknowledge this without boring her reader--this is a book which deals with pain in a controlled fashion, and combines the raw honesty of its American equivalents with the solidly balanced craft of the French epistolary novel. --Roz KaveneyReview:
‘The Disappearance is simply heart-rending… an impressively simple book, beautifully translated by Adriana Hunter. It will surely join C S Lewis’s A Grief Observed as a classic of the genre, a literary answer to the pain of loss.’
ROBERT MCCRUM, Observer
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Book Description FLAMINGO, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 6551211