by Gerbrand Bakker

One moment, one summer... In impressionistic strokes, a picture of a life-changing event emerges. Forty years later, the repercussions still affect a whole family. Read this to feel overwhelming emotions under the stifling heat of a too quiet Dutch summer.


Thursday 9 October 1969. Anna's back up on the straw. For the second time. Just after the funeral Jan and Johan couldn't find their mother. Me and Klaas went looking. She was up on the straw. I asked her to come down but she didn't say anything and wouldn't come down. Mother-in-law came. On Saturday 5 July (1969), mother-in-law cooking, she came down. She sent her mother home. Yesterday (8 October) I leant the ladder against the loft. She kicked the ladder over when I was about halfway up. Broken wrist. Can still milk, but with difficulty. Plaster got dirty and wet. A few hours later she came down. No comment.


Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell
The Go-Between by L P Hartley

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