Frank Schaeffer

  • Zermatt

  • Calvin Becker's strict fundamentalist upbringing means he's never seen a film, watched television or danced. He even has to hide his five second-hand copies of Mad magazine in the attic.
    Now he and his family - his embarrassingly devout missionary parents and his sisters, the tyrannical 18 year-old Janet and the angelic Rachael - are on their modest annual skiing holiday in Switzerland. For the Beckers, the Hotel Riffelberg had always provided a safe haven from the jazz-loving sinners who congregate further down the mountain in Zermatt, but this is 1966, the year of peace, love and the Beatles, and the world is changing. As is the irrepressible Calvin...
    In his innocent 14 year-old body the hormones are raging, awakening a volcanic sexual
    curiosity and he willingly succumbs to the ample charms of Eva, the young waitress who introduces him to ecstasies beyond his wildest dreams. But then Calvin's mother catches him supposedly in the act and things start to go awry, triggering a climactic end to his childhood (and the family holiday).

Born in 1952, Frank Schaeffer is a writer and film director whose parents were missionaries, who has lived in Switzerland and has holidayed on the Italian Riviera. He now lives in Massachusetts. Portofino was his first novel.

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