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 both brings him breakfast each morning and introduces him to ecstasies beyond his wildest dreams. It's when Calvin's mother catches him supposedly in the act that things start to go a awry, the resulting family meltdown triggering a crisis in Calvin's father and a climactic end to his childhood...
Laugh-out-loud funny, moving and wise, Zermattis an irresistible coming-of-age gem by the acclaimed author of Portofino.show more