Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s extraordinary portrait of a farming family distorted by grief, translated by Michele Hutchison. I asked God if he please couldn’t take my brother Matthies instead of my rabbit. ‘Amen.’ Ten-year-old Jas has a unique way of experiencing her universe: the feeling of udder ointment on her skin as protection against harsh winters; the texture of green warts, like capers, on migrating toads; the sound of ‘blush words’ that aren’t in the Bible.
But when a tragic accident ruptures the family, her curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies – unlocking a darkness that threatens to derail them all. A bestselling sensation in the Netherlands, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s radical debut novel is studded with images of wild, violent beauty: a world of language unlike any other.