On the night of January 31, 1953, a mountain of water, literally piled up out of the sea by a freak winter hurricane, swept down onto the Netherlands, demolishing the dikes protecting the country and wiping a quarter of its landmass from the map. It was the worst natural disaster to strike the Netherlands in three hundred years.
The morning of the storm, Armanda asks her sister, Lidy, to take her place on a visit to her godchild in the town of Zierikzee. In turn, Armanda will care for Lidy's two-year-old daughter and accompany Lidy’s husband to a party. The sisters, both of them young and beautiful, look so alike that no one may even notice. But what Armanda can’t know is that her little comedy is a provocation to fate: Lidy is headed for the center of the deadly storm.
Margriet de Moor interweaves the stories of these two sisters, deftly alternating between the cataclysm and the long years of its grief-strewn aftermath. While Lidy struggles to survive, surrounded by people she barely knows, Armanda must master the future, trying to live out the life of her missing sister as if it were her own.
A brilliant meshing of history and imagination, The Storm is a powerfully dramatic and psychologically gripping novel from one of Europe’s most compelling writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Storm|
|Release Date: 03-09-2010|
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On a Raw Morning They Said Good-bye
One of them, Lidy, stood at the window and looked out. It was one of those midwinter mornings when it’s just getting light and last night’s storm no longer makes you feel cozy indoors, it’s like a whine that gets on your nerves. She held her little daughter in her arms and her coat was already buttoned. In the process of leaving she hesitated for this one moment like someone who’s glad to be on her way, if that’s what comes next, but would be just as glad to stay home. That the whole plan wasn’t hers to begin with, but Armanda’s, was irrelevant. At this moment, all she was thinking was: I really want to drive a car again. Today and tomorrow, Armanda, you can take care of my daughter, and go with my husband to the party being given by your friend, who also happens to be his half sister. Tomorrow afternoon at the latest, I’ll be back.
The living room occupied the second and third floors of one of the imposing houses fronting a little park in a less imposing neighborhood. Lost in thought, she looked out over the treetops, bare and black against the rectangle of house façades. She didn’t see that diagonally opposite, the figure of a man was groping along a roof gutter until suddenly a flag flapped loose from his hands and immediately stood stiff and shivering in the northwest wind. It was the last day of January. If anyone had said to her that with Nadja held tight and safe in her arms she should take a good look all around because her farewell was a final one, she would have known deep in her heart that this was possible at any moment in life, but she wouldn’t have believed it. After all, she was ...