Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier.
Translated from the German by Barbara Harshav
“Sarah Winter, who had stood outside the door of his flat at two in the morning because she didn’t know what to do with her pregnancy. He had made her tea and listened, nothing else. ‘I’m so glad I followed your advice,’ she said a week later. ‘It would have been much too early to have a baby.”
“He had asked me for my address and it had been more than a courtesy towad a traveling acquaintance. In fact, they soon broke off the trip and returned to Lisbon. But that had nothing to do with me. Adriana, his older sister, had had an abortion and almost died from it. He wanted to check on it, he didn’t trust the doctor. A doctor who distrusted doctors. That’s how he was, that was Amadeu.”
“Why did she go to this bungler, this backstreet abortionist. Well, she doesn’t know how awful it was for me. But everybody knows that Amadeau takes good care of you in such cases. That he doesn’t give a dam about the law when a woman’s in trouble. Etelvina and another child, that’s quite impossible. Next week, says Amadeau, we have to decide whether she has to get follow-up treatment in the hospital.
His older sister had an abortion and almost died from it, Gregorious heard Joao Eca say. It was eerie to him. Here, downstairs, Adriana sank even deeper into the past than upstairs in Amadeau’s room.”