Boekenweek, also known as Book Week, is an annual period dedicated to literature that has been held every year in the Netherlands and Belgium. Events are held throughout the Netherlands and this year it is taking place from March 23rd to March 31st and World Editions is celebrating by releasing special translated editions of books by Dutch and Belgium authors. The Nerdy Girl Express is taking part in this celebration by sharing reviews of two of the special World Editions books. The first feature is today’s review of Craving, which will be followed by a review on March 27th of Speechless.
Coco and her mother have never had a positive relationship. When her mother suddenly confronts her one day and reveals that she is dying, Coco is shocked. With her mother’s health dwindling and Coco struggling with her own life and relationships she makes an uncharacteristic choice. In a conversation with her father, step-mother, and boyfriend she announces she will move in with her mother, Elizabeth, and help take care of her. With very little time left, Coco tries to understand her mother and the decisions that led their relationship to become practically nonexistent by the time she reached adulthood. Elizabeth is also working through her own end of life concerns and thoughts, which lead her to reflect back on her former married life and the childhood of her daughter.
Craving is something between a slice of life story and a psychological work. It sets up Coco and Elizabeth’s separate lives and relationships and initially you might think these women are tremendously different, but the more we see of their lives the more similar they become. Neither woman seems to be able to create strong connections with other people and this inability to connect has led them to pull away from others. Coco is struggling with her relationship with her boyfriend and even in her attempts to connect with her mother there is still a distance. Elizabeth is trying to return some of the elements of her former married life through her new relationship with her daughter, but she still can’t seem to find her way. The ending of the book is beautifully written and has an otherworldly feel. You can pick up your copy of Craving today.