Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Komt Een Vrouw bij de Dokter" - The Book

As I crept in to bed sniffing and snottering my husband asked,

"Finished your book then?"

Yes I had. I had just turned the final page over of 'Komt een Vrouw bij de Dokter' written by Kluun (aka Raymond van de Klundert). This is Kluun's debut novel written in 2003 and is dramatised from events in his own life.

It's a funny thing to enjoy a book which evokes gut wrenching tears but enjoy it I did. Well, when I say enjoy... I mean I found it hard to put down, I emphasised with the characters and I experienced their pain. That's what a good book should do right - put you into someone else's world?

When I woke the next morning I had puffed up red eyes and I was glad the book was finished. Myrna Goossen (Aperitivo) sums it up perfectly, "Man, man, wat een heftig book."

Komt een vrouw bij de doktor is a book about Stijn and Carmen living in Amsterdam in the prime of their life, both running their own companies, enjoying the night life of the Dutch capital city, surrounded by success and friends. Until they are struck by breast cancer.

This book is their journey through cancer, about how it rips at the heart of their family and confronts her close friends. It is written from the perspective of Stijn, a fun loving, philandering, emotionally challenged husband as he faces up to the reality that his wife is terminally ill. It is a book about preparing for the end, an ode to love and the strength of family. The book is a roller coaster of emotion from anger at the medical establishment, to hope brought by treatment options, desperation as the effects of chemo take hold, to the final realisation that Carmen won't see their young daughter, Luna grow up. It is a heart wrenching read, and all the more because it is based on real events.

Be prepared for humour and tears.

For those whose Dutch is in progress..... the book is available in English with the title "Love Life" by Ray Kluun. It has also been made into a very successful film of the same title starring Carice van Houten, Barry Atsma and Pierre Bokma. You can see the trailer on

A book sequel entitled "Widower" is also available (though I am yet to read it but it is on my reading list for sure).

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