Lifelines

Heidi Diehl. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-328-48372-0
Diehl’s elegant debut weaves together the story of a woman whose past and present collide when she attends the funeral of her former mother-in-law in Germany. Louise, who left home in Oregon to study art in Düsseldorf in 1971, fell in love with Dieter Hinterkopf, a German drummer. It was a heady and tumultuous affair, both of them drunk on their artistic connection and youthful feelings of invincibility. But when Louise gets pregnant, the relationship grows rockier, and she leaves, bringing baby Elke home. The longer she stayed in Oregon, the more “the days piled up into a choice.” Louise goes on to build a solid life, get married, and have a second daughter. Then, in 2008, Elke asks Louise to attend Dieter’s mother’s funeral. But as Louise braces herself to confront old relationships, she finds that the trip teaches her just as much, if not more, about her new ones. Diehl finds the bittersweet heartache of retrospection, and compassionately explores how art helps heal. This complex, intimate story memorably portrays what it looks like to reckon with one’s choices and to feel both uncertainty and peace. Agent: Marya Spence, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/27/2019
Release date: 06/18/2019
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-1-328-48279-2
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