A rich and arresting historical romance
Germany, 1936. Nazism is taking hold. Janna, a young Dutch girl, has been sent to the embittered aristocrat Egon von Bötticher to train as a fencer. Bötticher is as eccentric as his training methods, yet the pupil soon finds herself falling for her master—a man tormented by a wartime past in which Janna’s father is implicated. Enthralled and disturbed by this dark world with its strange codes of honor and cruel rites of passage, Janna battles to understand her own desires and her part in the strange relationship between her father and the man who has become her obsession. A masterfully written story that sparkles and effervesces.
August 6, 2019
‘A fascinating read: a gothic romance transplanted to 1930s Germany. De Moor has lined up all the essential gothic elements—powerful currents of sexuality, a rambling old house, a possibly treacherous servant, a dark and brooding man whose true affinity is with the wildness of nature—and sent them on a collision course with concepts that come from somewhere else entirely.’ —The Herald Scotland
‘With Marente de Moor, Dutch literature has won a very original writer, one with an apparently inexhaustible imagination, who will, hopefully, write many more novels as exhilarating as this one.’ —Trouw
‘An ominous atmosphere, moral dilemmas, raging passions—all evoked by beautifully sculpted sentences’ —NRC Handelsblad
‘A masterfully written story that sparkles and effervesces, demonstrating the richness of the language on every page’ —Limburgs Dagblad
‘De Moor’s nature metaphors are of an animalistic power, her reflections are as clever as they are distinctive, and how she evokes the sultry, stormy atmosphere on the eve of World War II testifies to her great storytelling ability.’ —Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung