The Safekeep

The Safekeep

Summary

'Surprising, chilling, and electric. The Safekeep is a simply fantastic work of literature.' Alice Winn, bestselling author of IN MEMORIAM

'The Safekeep is a dream of a novel — mesmerizing and shockingly good — it lulls you with the lyrical beauty of its words and then slams you awake with its raw passion and rage. Part silent scream, part breathless love story — I was utterly blown away'- Miranda Cowley Heller, bestselling author of THE PAPER PALACE

'A house is a precious thing...'

An exhilarating tale of twisted desire, histories and homes, and the unexpected shape of revenge - for readers of Patricia Highsmith, Sarah Waters and Ian McEwan's Atonement


It's 1961 and the rural Dutch province of Overijssel is quiet. Bomb craters have been filled, buildings reconstructed, and the war is well and truly over. Living alone in her late mother's country home, Isabel's life is as it should be: led by routine and discipline. But all is upended when her brother Louis delivers his graceless new girlfriend, Eva, at Isabel's doorstep-as a guest, there to stay for the season...

Eva is Isabel's antithesis: sleeps late, wakes late, walks loudly through the house and touches things she shouldn't. In response Isabel develops a fury-fuelled obsession, and when things start disappearing around the house-a spoon, a knife, a bowl-Isabel' suspicions spiral out of control. In the sweltering peak of summer, Isabel's paranoia gives way to desire - leading to a discovery that unravels all Isabel has ever known. The war might not be well and truly over after all, and neither Eva - nor the house in which they live - are what they seem.

'Haunting and exquisitely poignant' - Claire Fuller

'This is a stealthy, simmering novel about complicity and the lies we live by' - Clare Pollard

Reviews

  • Surprising, chilling, and electric. The Safekeep is a simply fantastic work of literature.
    Alice Winn, bestselling author of IN MEMORIAM

About the author

Yael van der Wouden

Yael van der Wouden is a writer and teacher. She currently lectures in creative writing and comparative literature in the Netherlands. Her essay on Dutch identity and Jewishness, "On (Not) Reading Anne Frank", has received a notable mention in The Best American Essays 2018. The Safekeep is her debut novel and was acquired in hotly-contested nine-way auctions in both the UK and the US. Rights have sold in a further twelve countries.
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