1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
'that compassionate lie had made her happy, and to make someone happy can never be wrong or a crime',
This review is from: Beware of Pity (Kindle Edition)
This is the story of a dashing young Austrian lieutenant, just prior to the first World War. Stationed on the Hungarian border, he is thrilled to be invited to the castle of a wealthy local family, but bemused when his request to the daughter of the house for a dance is greeted by copious weeping. When he discovers his faux pas - she's a cripple - he feels obliged to send her flowers. And thus begins his link to the family - 'my strange case of poisoning of pity'. For as his feelings of duty and honour are taken to mean much more by the lame Edith, the weak and vacillating Lt Hofmiller is torn between shame before his colleagues at the possible match and his desire to do the right thing. As he is warned:
'Pity is a double-edged weapon. If you don't know how to handle it you had better not touch it, and above all you must steel your heart against it. Pity, like morphine, does the sick good only at first...if you don't get the dose right and know where to stop it becomes a murderous poison.'
A brilliantly written novel; like his other work, 'The Post Office Girl', Zweig keeps you reading to the end, uncertain how the story will work out.