Announcing the Winner of the Giveaway of Without Mercy

Without Mercy by Renate Dorrestein

The giveaway for Without Mercy by Renate Dorrestein has now ended. A winner has been chosen using random.org.

And the winner is….

Mystica

of

Musings from Sri Lanka

 

CONGRATULATIONS, Mystica!!!

I’ve send Mystica an email to ask for her address.

Thank you to everyone else who entered.

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Giveaway: Without Mercy by Renate Dorrestein

Without Mercy by Renate Dorrestein


A few days ago I reviewed this book and I loved it! Now is your chance to win a copy of this well-written book.

The author is Dutch so the book is translated into English. I got a copy from the author’s secretary to give away to one of my blog readers.

This is what the book is about:

From amazon.com: “Reminiscent of Andre Dubus’s critically acclaimed In the Bedroom and Joyce Carol Oates’s We Were the Mulvaneys, Renate Dorrestein’s new novel explores the undercurrents of married life and the world of today’s teenagers.

“Perfect” was the word both for Phinus and Franka Vermeer’s marriage and their teenage son, Jem, but in the wake of his senseless murder, grief drives a wedge between them. Determined to resurrect the joy they once knew, the couple embarks on a weekend in the country to mend their fraying relationship. Their marital troubles, however, run deeper than they realize. Suspenseful, tragic, and strangely touching, Without Mercy portrays the preciousness of everyday happiness.”

You can read my whole review HERE.

How to win:

  1. Anyone can enter. You do not need to have a blog and the giveaway is international (I can send the book to any .
  2. Leave a comment to say that you want to enter. Fill out your email address where it asks you to. This will not be shown in your published comment.
  3. For an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway and leave your tweet link (or your twitter handle) in the comments.
  4. You do not have to be a follower or become a follower, although if you like my blog I hope you will! You can follow by email or by RSS (see buttons in the side bar on the right).
  5. You can enter the giveaway until Friday, December 14th.
  6. I will notify the winner by email. The winner needs to answer my email within 3 days, or I’ll announce a new winner.

Good luck!

Book Review: Without Mercy by Renate Dorrestein

Without Mercy by Renate DorresteinRating: 4.5/5 (Very good!)
Number of pages: 256
First published: 2001
Genre: contemporary fiction
I got this book: from the library (Dutch)

Renate Dorrestein is a Dutch author, one of my favorites. Without Mercy has been translated into English which is why you can find my review of it below. And there’s another reason… (see further below).

This author has written almost 20 novels since 1983 and I’ve read at least half of them. This one was new for me (although it’s from 2001).

Without Mercy: What it is about

From amazon.com: “Reminiscent of Andre Dubus’s critically acclaimed In the Bedroom and Joyce Carol Oates’s We Were the Mulvaneys, Renate Dorrestein’s new novel explores the undercurrents of married life and the world of today’s teenagers.

“Perfect” was the word both for Phinus and Franka Vermeer’s marriage and their teenage son, Jem, but in the wake of his senseless murder, grief drives a wedge between them. Determined to resurrect the joy they once knew, the couple embarks on a weekend in the country to mend their fraying relationship. Their marital troubles, however, run deeper than they realize. Suspenseful, tragic, and strangely touching, Without Mercy portrays the preciousness of everyday happiness.”

Without Mercy: What I thought

When Phinus (a very un-Dutch name, I’ve never heard of it before) and Franka go away for a quiet weekend to work on their marriage, their past comes along with them. There is a lot left unsaid that they should have discussed years ago, and on this trip they start to realise this.

The story is built up really well. Intermixed with the “adventures” on their weekend out (they run into some troublesome teenagers) are the events that happened in the past. It becomes clear how their marriage has run into trouble and why Phinus feels guilty about the death of their son. The different ways Franka and Phinus mourn means they cannot share their grief.

The book is about marriage, delinquent teenagers, violence by and towards teenagers, grief. It sounds awful! But it’s really well-written and there isn’t a great deal of actual blood. 🙂 The ending is… hopeful.

Extra: In a few days’ time you can win your own copy of this book! I’ve got an English translation to give away.

The Discovery of Heaven Read-a-Long: Week 4


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.

I’m a little late reading the fourth and final part, which is The End of the End. Watch out, spoilers!

Summary

Well, I started skimming a few pages! This was Onno talking politics and philosophy. No thanks!

After that, the story turns back to Quinten, who is in Rome and coincidentally meets his father there. Onno is hardly recognisable, he looks very shabby and doesn’t seem to have looked after himself well. Quinten moves in with Onno, who has been living in Rome for a long time.

They go on touristic trips and in one particular chapel, Quinten feels there is something special. The chapel is called the holiest place on earth. Quinten and Onno go to the library to do research. Lots of religious discussion ensues and eventually Quinten is convinced the tablets with the ten commandments are hidden in the chapel.

Onno can’t believe that, but gets himself and his son locked inside the chapel at night and steal some stone slabs, which may or may not be the ten commandments. They travel to Jerusalem (by accident) where they don’t know what to do but again visit touristic attractions and learn more about the religious background of the locations they visit.

Then Quinten gets a kind of dream in which he drops the tablets on a marble floor and the letters, all the text of the ten commandments fly in the air, up into the sky. This way the ten commandments return to heaven.

Discussion

I know I missed many references and symbolism here! I didn’t read it all and I certainly didn’t understand it all.

I did get the feeling this final part of the book was a Dan Brown novel avant la lettre. It was fun to see whether Quinten really had found those very old tablets but I could have done with much of the religious discussion.

The book ended in confusion for me. What had actually happened? How was this important for the angels in heaven that had manipulated Quinten and Onno? I’m not sure, I will check other people’s write-ups to see if they can make sense of it!

Read also Iris’ post about this last part. Here.

What do you think of this final part?


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