Bold, tender and disturbing
On a remote island somewhere in the North Atlantic, a nine-year-old boy looks on helplessly as his father is swept out to sea. Consumed by guilt and paralysed by his mother’s frantic grief, Mikael cannot bring himself to tell the truth about what happened. As the pair struggle to restore the fragile balance of their isolated lives, the young widow starts to demand the impossible of her only son.
September 4, 2018
‘You Have Me to Love explores raw and unsettling psychological territory. It is a story that once read will stick with the reader for a long time.’ —Literary Review
‘You Have Me to Love is an intense and dramatic novel filled with meticulous use of detail and a forensic psychological accuracy. Its power comes from the fierce energy of the narrative structure, the way of handling silence and pain, and the ability to confront the darkest areas of experience with clear-eyed sympathy and care. Jaap Robben handles delicate, dangerous material with subtlety and sympathy, but also with a visionary sense of truth that is masterly and unforgettable.’ —COLM TÓIBÍN
‘This is a bold, tender and ambivalent narrative, raw and disturbing, with moments of painful beauty.’ —Irish Times
‘An overwhelming debut about lost childhood innocence, You Have Me to Love can be favourably compared to Niccolò Ammaniti’s I’m Not Scared and Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden.’ —Het Parool