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Nook & Cranny Books

The Safekeep by Yael van der Wouden

The Safekeep by Yael van der Wouden

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An exhilarating, twisted tale of desire, suspicion, and obsession between two women staying in the same house in the Dutch countryside during the summer of 1961—a powerful exploration of the legacy of WWII and the darker parts of our collective past.

A house is a precious thing...

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

Eva is Isabel’s antithesis: she sleeps late, walks loudly through the house, and touches things she shouldn’t. In response, Isabel develops a fury-fueled obsession, and when things start disappearing around the house—a spoon, a knife, a bowl—Isabel’s suspicions begin to spiral. In the sweltering peak of summer, Isabel’s paranoia gives way to infatuation—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.

Mysterious, sophisticated, sensual, and infused with intrigue, atmosphere, and sex, The Safekeep is a brilliantly plotted and provocative debut novel you won’t soon forget.

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