Hans Werner Kettenbach
Bitter Lemon, Oct 1 2009, $14.95
German school teacher Christian Kestner is shocked to receive a letter from Tbilisi with the civil war going on even though it took four weeks to arrive. David Ninoshvili asks if he can stay with Kestner while in Germany.
Kestner agrees with trepidation. Seven years ago he stayed at the home of Ninoshvili only to have a tryst with his host’s wife. Ninoshvili’s letter triggers guilt, remorse, and fear that the guest comes to enact vengeance. More bitterly disturbing to Kestner after his guest moves into the spare bedroom is the obvious fact that Ninoshvili seems to get on better with Christina’s wife Julia and teenage son Ralf than he does. Soon panic stricken Kestner fearing the loss of his family; he begins to believe he must act before the subversive Georgian asks for asylum.
DAVID'S REVENGE is a timely deep thought provoking tale that is a combination psychological thriller and a historical fiction of Georgia. Kestner’s growing paranoia is the prime center of the former while Ninoshvili represents the latter; both are fascinating as each seeks the Golden Fleece defined differently by each of them. The backdrop of religious and ethnic cleansing, “socially right” patriotic nationalism, and anti immigration scapegoat fervor are deeply explored in Germany and to a degree in 1990s Georgia, but could easily have been 2007 America.