That it started life as a movie screenplay is evident in the twists and turns of plot that wind their way throughout this novel – and the virtues and vices of each medium are displayed in this Dutch bestseller.
There are three protagonists – Ada, Marjorie and Esther – and the rapid filmic switching of perspectives and locations at times feels clunky. But Marieke van der Pol also has a talent for meticulously detailed characterisation, which, together with an assiduous translation by Colleen Higgins, bring these three women to life.
The author weaves a rich, vivid story exploring the intersections of luck and disposition that make up the course of a life. There is a journey at the heart of the narrative: a flight from London to Christchurch in 1953, carrying brides- to-be to join their fiancés. These women are yearning to escape their home lives, and, on board, fall under the spell of a bewitching bachelor named Frank. Only at his funeral, years later, does the truth emerge. It is the subtle emotional and psychological journeys – and the shackles impeding women from moving on – that provide the greatest engagement here.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies