Peter Stamm writes seemingly so easy about lives that are not lived, that are put on hold, that are remembered but in the end missed out on. In laconic sentences and unflashy but atmospheric scenes, he points out easily readable but hard-to-digest barely noticed eruptions that in retrospect prove to be earthquakes. Loneliness during the vacation together. An abandoned hotel in the mountains. A girl in the forest. A pastor feeding the birds. The first love with weight.