The Safekeep

The Safekeep


Brought to you by Penguin.

An exhilarating tale of twisted desire, histories and homes, and the unexpected shape of revenge - for readers of Patricia Highsmith, Sarah Waters and Miranda Cowley Heller's THE PAPER PALACE

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 something entirely new - 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.

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

©2024 Yael van der Wouden (P)2024 Penguin Audio


  • 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.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more