Tortoise and I
Very occasionally a book comes along that you hope will become a classic, not only in the Netherlands, but also in the rest of the world. This is one of those books. It tells the story of a boy who moves to another country with his parents and takes a young tortoise with him to help cure his homesickness.
That tortoise grows bigger and bigger. At first, everyone thinks it’s funny. They just need to knock a hole in the wall next to the door so that he can come in. But when his owner grows up and can’t find a girlfriend because of his clumsy housemate, he decides to return the animal to the country where he was born. He comes back home with much more than he left with.
Törnqvist has found a beautiful, light and accessible metaphor for a topical and painful issue, in which a tortoise reminds us what it means to be human.