How does a young family cope with the dramatic loss of a mother? Tjibbe Veldkamp has written a touching story about this subject. Mother Annabel has been dead for some time and Bas is driven crazy by his dad Door (he’s as big as one), who can’t let her spirit rest in peace. Door tries to make contact with her and doesn’t hesitate to involve the weirdest methods and people in the process. In his quest to find his dead wife, he forgets his sons Bas and Bobo. Together, the boys try to lead some kind of a normal life by going to school and getting their hands on food in most unconventional ways!
The whole story is infused with a sense of darkness. Firstly there’s darkness in the house, which Door has decided on because spirits don’t like the light. But there’s also darkness in the constant arguments between Bas and his father, in the threat of the family falling apart and in the dark irony with which Bas records events as they head for a break-up.
One evening Bas receives a text message: ‘I’m here. Anna’. Door believes that Annabel’s spirit sent it. But Bas thinks that it’s from Anna, the girl with the strangely restless hands. When that turns out not to be the case, she goes with him in search of whoever sent the text. The end of the story is a poignant one that lays bare the relationships within the family in an unusual way.
Without any sentimentality, Veldkamp depicts three lonely people and their frantic attempts to deal with their great sadness. The father Door, who can’t face up to reality; the angry and rebellious, but also really insecure Bas, who fights with his father; and little Bobo, who shuts himself away with a cookery book and does everything he can to avoid arguments in the family.
By Dorine Louwerens