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Zermatt: A Novel Frank Schaeffer

Zermatt: A Novel

Frank Schaeffer

Published
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
304 pages
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 About the Book 

It is 1966 and Ralph and Elsa Becker, Reformed Presbyterian missionaries from Kansas stationed in Switzerland, have embarked on their annual, modest ski vacation to Zermatt. The counterpart to their annual, modest beach vacation in Portofino, this isMoreIt is 1966 and Ralph and Elsa Becker, Reformed Presbyterian missionaries from Kansas stationed in Switzerland, have embarked on their annual, modest ski vacation to Zermatt. The counterpart to their annual, modest beach vacation in Portofino, this is a much anticipated chance to spend time around normal people for their three children: the sadistic eighteen-year-old Janet, the angelic Rachael, and our narrator, the irrepressible Calvin, who puzzles over his sisters bras, as they hang on a line hidden away so that I could not get a good look unless I ducked under the sheets ... to the feminine heart of the laundry maze.Calvin is fourteen, torn between his naturally volcanic sexual curiosity and a fundamentalist family so strict that he has never seen a movie, watched television or danced (and has to hide his five copies of Mad magazine - contraband slipped to him by the son of a visiting pastor - in the attic).But at the Hotel Riffelberg, a supposed safe haven from sinners listening to jazz far below in Zermatt, Calvin nevertheless falls into the hands of Eva, the young waitress, who, after bringing him his breakfast each morning, begins Calvins initiation into ecstasies he can barely comprehend. Even so, it is only after his mother catches him in the act - or so she thinks - that Calvins real education begins.The resulting family meltdown triggers an explosive crisis of faith in his father and an alarming schism in the Becker family, building to a climax destined to push Calvins childhood into the past.