Ellen Van Bemmel is a normal 13 year old when she experiences a devastating personal tragedy. Twenty five years later she tells her story as she gets ready to birth her own child.
Dorrestein has Ellen narrate the story switching between the past and present. Ellen is the third of 4 soon to be 5 children in what seems like an idyllic family. Frits and Marje are Ellen's concerned,involved and busy parents. What ensues borders on a Greek tragedy.
Dorrestein very cleverly 'spins out' the story slowly. One feels the pain and terror. Ellen must learn to forgive herself and her parents. She must go past her heartbreak and get rid of her ghosts.
Included at the end of the book is an interview with the author which was very informative and detailed.
I loved this story and will look forward to more translations of Dorrestein's books.