The Detour, By Gerbrand Bakker

 

Bleak landscapes are meat and drink to the Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker. His new novel transports us to North Wales where a woman called Emilie is setting up home in a remote farmhouse.

It takes a while for the reader to work out what this urbanite from Amsterdam is doing there. Immersing herself in the rain-lashed scenery of Snowdonia, she's not so much on the run from her previous life as treading water.

This intriguing novel, translated with quiet passion by David Colmer, captures how it feels to have "no idea what to do next, how to move backward or forward."

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