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By Louis Begley
As he attempts to make his existence liveable again--after the devastating lack of his wife--retired attorney Albert Schmidt unearths the potential of regeneration in a brand new love the previous "Schmidtie" may by no means have dreamt of. Set within the Hamptons and Mahnattan, and laced with black humor, approximately Schmidt casts a chilly, pitiless eye at the japanese seaboard higher category, the final vestiges of once-ascendant WASPs, and the beginners whose fortunes are rising.
BONUS: This variation comprises an excerpt from Louis Begley's Memories of a Marriage.
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Extra info for About Schmidt (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
It came to this: the house wasn’t his and it was too valuable by far. It had belonged to Mary’s maiden aunt Martha, her father’s sister, who had brought up Mary after her mother died of pneumonia in 1947. Mary had just turned ten. Martha was the only relative, apart from some elderly distant cousins in Arizona, Mary’s father having been killed in knee-high water off Omaha Beach, in the first attempt to land. From the time Schmidt and Mary were married, they had spent their summer vacations with Martha; in due course, Martha became Charlotte’s godmother; it had taken all the powers of persuasion of Martha’s lawyer to keep her from leaving the house to a four-year-old Charlotte.
This was a development Schmidt recognized immediately as natural, but he hadn’t foreseen it. Mary had reigned over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Of course, they had spent those holidays with Martha, while she was alive, and they continued spending them in her house afterward, except for one Thanksgiving when Charlotte had the chicken pox. During their good years, they usually had invited young people from Schmidt’s office. There never had been any question of Charlotte’s being elsewhere; therefore, if Riker was right about the length of his tenure, he must have had each of those holidays with them at least four times.
Let me finish the dishes, she said, and please keep that hand out of the water until the cut closes. You should probably take it to a doctor and have it stitched. Never! Can’t break my lifetime record of no cutting and sewing my skin for such a trifle. Thank you, sweetie, for being so good to the old grouch. And thank you, Jon, for setting me straight. By the way, how do your parents feel about your marrying a shiksa? Have you spoken to them? Will they allow it? Not as broken up as you about her marrying me!
About Schmidt (Ballantine Reader's Circle) by Louis Begley