I’ll Put You Through
Small acts, huge consequences
In I’ll Put You Through Vonne van der Meer shows what huge consequences small acts can lead to. The story takes place on 10 September 2002, one day before the first commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.
It begins in the morning with Edith. She’s in bed with her husband Berend. At first she wants to make love to him, but then she rejects him in a fit of frustration. Berend goes to work in a bad mood. At work he is rude to his colleague, Jaap, who takes out his frustration on his secretary Carla, who in turn is unkind towards a job applicant. So it goes on, each character linked to the next through peevish misery.
The narrator turns out to be an angel of death who has to pick up a ‘package’, somewhere and, seems unable to prevent the murder at the end of the chain reaction of interconnected serendipitous events.
Van der Meer is a master at observing boorish behaviour and in depicting the evil that it can lead to, at times undetected. In this book, cause and effect are inextricably interrelated, positively though, as well as negatively, the positive energy coming from the juxtaposition of another storyline in which a child’s life in Afghanistan is saved.
The implication is that good can only come about through a timely recognition of the evil within oneself and its subsequent neutralisation. Yet Van der Meer does not moralise. Through the freshness of her language and the frequent use of dialogue, the book avoids pomposity.