A haunting work, reminiscent of Albert Camus, which portrays, with exquisite psychological detail, the emotional crisis in the life of Jean Calmet, a young Swiss schoolteacher. As novel opens with the fatherÆs cremation, conveying the sense that, even though his fatherÆs body has been reduced to ashes, his spirit survives to haunt Jean. His fatherÆs prodigious vitality and virility had crushed his family and ruined his sonÆs childhood. Even after his fatherÆs death, Jean cannot be free. The parental ogreÆs actions continue to suck Jean into a vortex of despair.