Exclusive Love


Johanna Adorjan

 

(from the publisher)

 

 

Two people who have grown old together decide to take their own lives. He is terminally ill; she doesn't want to be without him. One Sunday in autumn 1991, they carry out their plan. Vera and István go to their deaths holding hands. It is the logical end of a love that shut out the entire rest of the world, even their own children. They used the formal "Sie" form of address for each other throughout their whole lives together, chain-smoked and were incredibly good-looking. They also had a past they did not speak about — a past they did not want to remember. As Hungarian Jews, they had survived the Holocaust, had become Communists and during the uprising in Budapest in 1956 had fled the country. They started a new life in Denmark and — so it seemed — never looked back. Sixteen years after her grandparents' deaths, Johanna Adorján ignored the family rule of "That's something we don't talk about." She set out to look for the blind spots in the lives of her grandparents and in the process found out things that have more to do with herself than she had expected. Against the backdrop of the disasters of twentieth-century European history, she brings Vera and István back to life — a fascinating couple, unconventionally elegant, often going against the grain.