Hella S. Haasse

Messages From The Blue House

After having spent half a century abroad, sisters Felicia and Nina return to the house of their youth. It is only for the summer, the house has been sold and is one to be demolished. For the two sisters, however, this short period is one of fierce confrontation with one another and their past. The sisters have lead entirely different lives. As the wife of a diplomat Felicia has moved in society circles in many South American countries and has now retired to a chalet in Switzerland. Nina has led, certainly to her sister’s mind, a mysterious and adventurous life in Argentina. She has travelled about with a famous guitarist who was closely involved with the guerrilla movement.

After a number of articles and activities hostile to the regime she was arrested and eventually fled to Paris. She leads a bohemian life and earns a small income reading cards.

Their presence results in a confrontation between two young women in the village, with far-reaching consequences. The linking commentary by an anonymous villager contributes to the build-up of tension: the reader shares in the observations and knows more than those involved.

Berichten van het blauwe huis is a conscientiously composed story, written in a spotless, somewhat detached style.

NRC Handelsblad


Hella S. Haasse

Hella S. Haasse (1918 - 2011) was born in Batavia, modern-day Jakarta. She moved to the Netherlands after secondary school. In 1945 she debuted with a collection of poems, entitled Stroomversnelling (Momentum). She made her name three years later with the novella given out to mark the Dutch Book…

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Berichten van het blauwe huis (1986). Fiction, 136 pages.



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