Saturday, 5 March 2011

The Angel Maker - Stefan Brijs

Brijs is a Belgian, the book is set in Holland on the borders of Germany and Belgium in the latter half of the 20th Century, and it's dark, dark, dark!   It is a truly gothic and page-turning read.  A doctor returns to his father's village house to practice medicine; accompanied by three babies, all of whom have hare lips.  The babies, he tells everyone, are his, and it would be hard to argue with this, because like him, they have ginger hair, and like them he has a hare lip.  And although we do not realise at first, the doctor has Asperger's syndrome, so it is very difficult for him to meet people's eyes, he doesn't have a sense of humour, and he is very intense.  He employs a retired schoolmistress in the village to help out with the children. Due to his own childhood, his distorted (or is it?) view of God and Jesus, will affect all that he does.   Told in three parts, the middle section of this novel will throw light on the first section, and lead you, with your hands over your mouth into the third, and it may keep you awake nights!