The Discovery of Heaven Read-a-Long: Week 2
May 29, 2011 11 Comments
I’m joining in Iris on Books’ read-a-long of The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulish (1992), a book by a Dutch writer. I’m Dutch myself (as Iris is) and so it’s great fun to do a read-a-long of a countryman’s big tome. Big it is, over 900 pages.
For this week, we read the second part, which is The End of the Beginning.
First Ada gets arrested for shoplifting, but let go again by a friendly police officer. She also finds out she is pregnant. Onno is delighted, but Max knows it could just as well be his baby. Onno and Ada get married, in a slightly unconventional way (Onno’s family doesn’t approve of the way it’s done, but at least they’re married).
The three friends go to Westerbork, to look at the telescopes and Max’ working space. But in the middle of the night, they are called because Ada’s father has been taken to hospital. The weather is awful and as it’s dark, the drive back is very heavy going. When they have to stop for a tree that has fallen onto the road, another tree hits the car and Ada goes into a coma.
When Max goes to visit Ada’s mother, Sophia, to tell her the bad news, she offers him a bed for the night, and in the dark, she joins him in bed and has sex with him. She invites Max over more often, and although they don’t talk about it during the day, at night the same thing happens every time. Her husband has died the same night he fell ill.
Onno’s family have a meeting to decide who should look after the baby, as Ada is still in coma, and Onno, as a man, can’t be expected to look after it by himself. But then Max has an idea: Ada’s mother will come with him to Westerbork and look after the baby and him, as a kind of housekeeper. No one besides Max and Sophia know that they have been sleeping together. Onno decides that that seems the best solution. Too early, the baby is born, by Caesarian section. Onno calls him Quinten.
I’m enjoying the story. I guess Ada is of no further use so she is out of the way in a coma. Also, this gives Max (who we know is the real father) the possibility to look after the baby.
I’m a bit worried that the baby will start to look like Max and that Onno will find out about the deceit at some point. And what will happen to Ada? If the idea is that the baby stays with Max, then she certainly can’t ever wake up again (and it doesn’t look like she will).
I was keen to keep reading, but I will keep to the schedule of the read-a-long!
Read also Iris’ post about this second part. Here.
What do you think of the second part?