Right from the very start there’s something very charming and endearing about this story. The story is told from the perspective of a psychiatrist who is counting down the number of sessions that stand between him and his retirement.
His eagerness to end the monotonous day to day activities of his working life is clear but with little social life outside of the practice, I pondered if retirement would be a good thing.
A new client breaks the repetitive nature of his days and soon his curiosity in her expands outside the four walls of his office, but without her knowing.
His life is further shaken by the sudden departure of his secretary; Madame Surrugue, who has taken a leave of absence as she looks after her ailing husband. Whilst the beginning chapters reveal the psychiatrist is fond of Madame Surrugue, it becomes apparent that her absence speaks volumes and makes him reflect on the structure she provides to his days. Without her, things begin to unravel.
Told in captivating glimpses into the psychiatrist’s final months in his role, Bomann manages to strip down her main character revealing his vulnerabilities and providing him with the bricks to build his own future, the irony of the parallels Bomann was making between the psychiatrist and his patients was not lost on me.
At only 147 pages, this is a short read that I flew through. Bomann writes with penetrating insight and unexpected tenderness; creating a mesmerising, thoughtful and heartfelt read.
Highly recommend, and a perfect christmas gift to others!
Agatha is out TODAY in hardback and eBook versions from Sceptre. Massive thanks to Myrto for sending me a proof copy – I feel so honoured to have read this story early!
Until next time, Chloé x