Disclaimer: This book is only available in Dutch!
‘Very harsh and brutally honest.’
Ola is a young girl. Different from everybody else. Different from the rest of her family, even. After executing the deathwish of her sick mother and the accidental strangulation of her little brother, Ola loses her mind and decides to flee. She walks and walks until she doesn’t recognise her surroundings anymore. She walks until her feet hurt and even then she doesn’t stop. Along the way Ola meets some strange people with even stranger backstories. But nowhere she feels safe enough to share her story. And that’s why she keeps on moving. Eventually, Ola ends up in a forest where she finally feels at ease. She knows that nature won’t judge her for what she did. And maybe the strange poacher living there won’t either.
[This book has been given to me by Querido – a Dutch publisher – in exchange for a review. I just wanted to say that this didn’t influent my opinion whatsoever.]
This book was one hell of a ride. I still don’t quite know what I’ve just read. As the reader, you spend a lot of time inside Ola’s head. And just so you know: that’s probably 90% of the book. There’s barely any dialogue, making it feel like this whole book essentially revolves around Ola and her thoughts. Now you might think that that’s not really positive, but I’m telling you now that it isn’t. I think spending so much time in Ola’s head made me understand her on another level (though she was a bit irritating) and eventually knowing her inside out.
What did grab my attention in a negative way was the use of extraordinarily long scentences. I don’t know if that was really necessary. It might illustrate how fast everything went in Ola’s head, but it only caused a lot of frustration everytime I lost track while reading. This was also the reason this book took so long to read. I think it took me 2/3 weeks reading a few pages everyday.
The reason why I couldn’t read more than like 10/15 pages everyday was the ongoing stream of traumatic experiences being described in a very harsh and honest way, not leaving much room for interpretation. It reminded me of the naïve way a child can describe certain events, but a lot of other things happening in this book told me that Ola couldn’t be much younger that twelve. Realising that all that has happened in this book, happened to a twelve-year-old is an absurd thing that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. And for that, I applaud this author, because she genuinly did an amazing job with describing Ola and everything that is going on on the inside.
So, in short. This book is very, very complex with a generally harsh storyline. But if you can handle that, this book is actually really beautiful. You get to live inside the extraordinary Ola, the most bizarre character of 2019 I might say… Also making this book the most bizarre I’ve read this year.
|Written by: Coco Schrijber|
|Interested? Buy it here|