Winner AKO Literature Prize 2008
The departure of her third great love after twelve years together has left Philippa, Pip to those close to her, in a state of all-consuming rage. She is unable to do anything, and particularly the fact that Jula is now with a man fuels her rage – and her sorrow, from which she defends herself by looking at herself ironically, almost cynically – ‘Something in me had decided that the time of crying was over and there I stood, obediently stiff and stern.’
A documentary takes her back inevitably to her first great love, her gymnastics teacher at secondary school. Which was more than a teen-age crush: it was the episode in her life made her aware of her lesbian nature. Recovering after a strange accident, Pip attempts to understand her love life. What about her second love? How can it be that Jula is now in a heterosexual relationship? When her fury gives way to introspection, there is room for the second storyline: Pip’s relationship with her family, especially with her brothers, who make their presence felt and with whom she visits the family house in Italy.
In a detached, often witty style – the end is especially hilarious, yet also moving – Meijsing portrays a woman of around fifty bouncing back, resuming her life, strengthened both physically and psychologically.