The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink

The Weekend

Bernhard Schlink

A convicted terrorist with links to the Baader-Meinhof gang has been released on pardon after 24 years. In order to ease him back into society, his sister arranges a weekend get-together in a secluded country home, inviting a variety of people who had, in some way, been part of his previous life. Inevitably, conflicts and tensions surface as the weekend proceeds, and the author explores these believably and with great skill.

Extract

She had thought long and hard. Which old friends would do him good, which would only make him embarrassed or reserved? He needs to be among people, she thought. And more than that, he needs help. Who will he get that from, if not his old friends? Finally she decided that the ones who were pleased she had called, the ones who wanted to come, were also the right ones. In some of those who made excuses she sensed honest regret; they would have liked to be there if they'd known about it earlier, if they hadn't made other plans. But what was she to do? His release had come as a surprise.

Parallels
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • The Terrorist by John Updike