Reading Europe celebrates The Netherlands on 23 May 2016

The Twins by Tessa de Loo
23 May 2016

Reading Europe celebrates The Netherlands on 23 May 2016

Today marks the Reading Europe Campaign's turn to the Netherlands - including a fantastic title from Arcadia Books. 

There are 24 countries in the EU in addition to the 4 countries in the British Isles and Commonwealth. Before the EU Referendum let us take the opportunity to find out something more about fellow members and neighbours. The recommended titles have been selected to let the reader know the literature, history and culture of each country better.
On 23 May we celebrate The Netherlands.

Eline Vere by Louis Couperus, translated by Ina Rilke (Pushkin) 1SBN 978 1 906548 26 1, 528 pages, £12.99
Couperus has often been called the Dutch Oscar Wilde and he is certainly one of the most interesting Dutch authors of his period. Eline Vere and her sister Betsy are wealthy young socialites living in The Hague in the 19th century. Eline attempts to break free from the confines of her narrow existence through tumultuous and ultimately disastrous courtships. This classic novel minutely described the conventions, manners and hypocrisies of society with great richness of description and vivid characterisations.

The Twins by Tessa de Loo, translated by Ruth Levitt (Arcadia) ISBN 978 1 900850 56 8, 392 pages, £6.99
It tells a compelling story of Anna and Lotte twin sisters who following the death of their parents are separated at a very early age. Lotte is sent to stay with her relatives in the Netherlands to recuperate from tuberculosis and Anna stays with relatives in Germany. The story begins with a chance meeting at the health resort of Spa. Both sisters are now in their 70s and have lost contact with each other and in the intervening years the Second World War has taken place. Thus evolves a tale of human suffering, spanning many decades, from both the German and Dutch perspectives, including the hardships endured in the war.