Hello! I'm getting very excited about going to London to talk about the books for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. It looks like our travel costs are winging their way into our bank account so that's another thing to cross off my list!
After Kate's beautiful review of The Detour by Gerbrand BakkerI was really looking forward to it. It was a much easier read then Trieste (by Dasa Drndic).
The first thing you notice are the very short chapters and minor discrepancies such as the doctor smoking in the surgery and the number of packets of paracetamol you are allowed to purchase in one transaction. This is soon forgotten as you are carried along in to the story. It is strangely compelling you are drawn into the often bizarre storyline and just want to keep reading.
The author drips fragments of information about “Emilie’s” former life gradually throughout the book. These help you build up a picture piece by piece of how her life used to be and the secrets she is withholding on the farm in North Wales I was intrigued to find out why she left Rotterdam and was fascinated by her strange parents and their reaction to her disappearance. The way the characters of her husband, mother and father are referred to seemed a little odd as “the husband” “the mother” and “the father” Whether this is due to translation or a reluctance to reveal their names I’m not sure
The book is full of strange occurrences, awkward encounters and social interactions. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. It left me with a longing to read Emily Dickinson, a desire to eat marble cake (hence the picture above!) and an intrigue to find out more about “Bradwen Jones!”
More from me - and the mobile reading group's trip to London - soon!