In the book, the protagonist Jean – a middle-aged bookseller – is beginning to find a new life for himself, after years of struggle and sadness, and he is given this divine morsel of wisdom from a friend.
“Do you know that there’s a halfway world between each ending and each new beginning? It’s called the hurting time, Jean Perdu. It’s a bog; it’s where your dreams and worries and forgotten plans gather. Your steps are heavier during that time. Don’t underestimate the transition, Jeanno, between farewell and new departure. Give yourself the time you need. Some thresholds are too wide to be taken in one stride.”