Love, If That’s What It Is


Falling in and out of love—a sharp and unsettling modern take on the meaning of it all

Terri runs off with a lover, abandoning her children and her marriage of twenty years. Her husband, David, is left to take care of their two daughters, who are each falling in love for the first time. These four people start to question their identity outside the nuclear family. What remains of a disintegrated home, and what changes? Marijke Schermer’s Love, If That’s What It Is gives a kaleidoscopic view of a divorce, permitting the reader to enter the heads of not only the spouses, but also of the two daughters and their new lovers. Through several characters, the reader is presented with just as many views on relationships, while Schermer remains impartial and thus confronts readers with their own—perhaps shaky—romantic principles. What is love? With fresh flair and provocative perspectives, Schermer manages to provide an original and versatile answer.

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Publication date

January, 2022




Marijke Schermer

Marijke Schermer is a novelist and playwright. Her stage work has been performed by several companies and translated into various languages … Read more

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Praise for Love, If That’s What It Is

“Marijke Schermer flawlessly analyzes how love takes its course.”
Het Parool

“On every page Schermer excels with sentences that seem ordinary, but are packed with meaning. After every striking sentence, I had to put the book down for a while. This book is about love—if that’s what it is, of course—and who has not become love’s victim?”

“Schermer’s technical ingenuity traps you, making you question your standards, assumptions, and blind spots. This is a big and definitive, but also investigative, story about love. Schermer is fast becoming one of the most interesting writers in the Netherlands.”
NRC Handelsblad

“Schermer’s fresh style adds something really new to the mountain of stories about falling in love, unhappy marriages, cheating, and heartbreak—she seems to have cleared the dust of the whole theme.”
De Volkskrant

Love, If That’s What It Is has the potential to become as successful as Herman Koch’s The Dinner.”
De Standaard

“This novel has just as careful and poetic a style and as precise a construction as her previous two. Schermer effortlessly manages to infect you again with the feelings of the novel’s characters.”