Esther's Inheritance by Sandor Marai

Esther's Inheritance

Sandor Marai

In this dramatically charged retelling of a classic plot I was both intrigued and frustrated by Esther’s willful capitulation to Lajos, the creditor-dodging cad. The recurrent images in this strangely enigmatic novella are of theatricality, fakery and role-playing. This is a showdown of sentiments with a conclusion that will surprise (if not convince) everyone.

Extract

My experience of Lajos is that he is the kind of man who begins with lies but then in the middle of his lying grows passionate and weeps, going on to lie more, this time with tears in his eyes, until eventually, to everyone’s utter surprise, he tells the truth as eloquently as he had been telling the opposite.

Parallels
  • Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb
  • The Woman Who Waited by Andrei Makine
  • The Door by Magda Szabo