Part One: Pages 1-99
Adam is a tailor who likes his female clients a bit too much. Evelyn walks in on him one day, pants at his ankles, with another woman. This is too much.
They had planned a trip to Hungary, so Evelyn leaves without Adam. She goes with her friend Simone, and her cousin from West Germany, Michael.
And Adam? Adam decides to stalk Evelyn across East Germany into Hungary. At first, he keeps pace with them, but loses them in Prague in the Czech Republic.
Thinking he knows where Evelyn is going, Adam proceeds to drive, stopping at road stops to take care of necessities. At one, a woman named Katja asks for a ride to, basically, anywhere. Adam agrees, and they continue on his way.
When they reach the final destination of Lake Balaton in western Hungary, Evelyn’s friend Simone finds them and gives directions to the place where the rest are staying.
This is set in 1989 just before the Berlin Wall fell. There are border checks, with tension between the characters about how to get across each border without being pulled over for further searches. Katja has no papers and Adam sneaks her over the border in the trunk of his car.
I’m enjoying the way Schulze tells this story. It has good pacing and is filled with interesting tidbits alluding to the way life must have been for the young citizens of Eastern Europe when things were changing, but not obviously so.