Fiction featuring Care Experience

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A Whole Life

Robert Seethaler

2015

Andreas Egger’s first memory is of arriving in an Austrian mountain village in 1902 at about 4 years of age. His mother has died from tuberculosis and the only reason Andreas is allowed to stay with his uncle, farmer Hubert Kranzstocker, is because money comes with the boy.
Andreas’ second memory is of being 8 years of age and beaten so badly by his uncle that his thigh is broken. After the bonesetter comes, Andreas spends 6 weeks lying down in the attic on a straw mattress. He limps for the rest of his life. Andreas rebels against his uncle's violence and begins his adult life at 18 by taking on casual labouring jobs. Andreas goes on to survive the devastating loss of his wife, 8 years in a prison of war camp in Russia, and the swarm of tourists to the village.
Towards the end of his life, Andreas concludes that he has led a good life.