When we arrive in Goldbach on Lake Constance, I see Lena, Jakob's fiancée, for the first time. She is petite and has dark blond chin-length hair. She squints her light brown eyes and gets up from the sofa. "Jakob! Who the heck is that?" Jakob laughs softly. "What are you making up again? She's my cousin's best friend and she's in trouble because she doesn't have a home anymore." Lena squints her eyes and lifts her chin. "So what the heck is she doing in my house? She doesn't have a foot to put in here. I'm sure she's making eyes at you again. Like all those." She stands up in front of me and surveys me. She's two heads shorter than me and tightly built. "You sure are pretty," she observes. "No wonder Jacob picked you up somewhere. Who knows... maybe you'll end up in bed together and my fiancé will leave me for ... for one.... Get out of here!" she barks. "Jakob, get that thing out of here." Lena throws a flowerpot in front of his feet. Then her slipper. But he only laughs softly and doesn't move from the spot. "What are you laughing at?" cries Lena. "Lena, stop playing," he says calmly. "Go." Lena stares at him in anger. "Go to who? To my late family in Sicily, or what?" her voice sounds hotter and a little calmer now. "Go," he leads her to the door, but she claws at a chair. "There's the door!" "Who do you want me to go to?" she looks at me full of hate. "Jacob," she looks at him shaking her head. "I'll be homeless and everything will be lost. Even our wedding that we planned together and everything because of the...", he drags her out. She spits at my feet. Her gaze is filled with hatred. Tears trickle down her cheeks. "And it's all because of you. You bitch. I hate you and I'll take revenge on you." Jacob leads her outside the door. "That's for being wrong," he says so softly I almost don't hear him. "You've earned it now. Have fun out there." In the distance, a dog barks. It's quiet, snowing, and an uneasy feeling creeps over me. Jakob closes the door.
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This book is very powerful because it shines a light on people who have been through something like this, whether they are men or women. It helps them realize that they are not alone, and they can get everything back by building a life of their own without getting back at people who treated them like garbage.
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