Sunny Spells

Wonderfully subtle and evocative

Opklaringen (Sunny Spells) is Gie Bogaert’s best novel yet. The protagonist, Rob, a compiler of hotel guide-books has invited his twenty-two-year-old daughter on a fact-finding mission on hotels in Germany, Italy and France. She had stopped living with him after the death of her mother fourteen years previously, as a result of an accident that he had caused in his bewilderment at hearing she no longer loved him. His attempts at restoring contact and familiarity with his daughter are constantly thwarted by her aloofness, even rancour.

Gie Bogaert has excelled himself in creating the atmosphere of the story, allowing charged descriptions of the various places where father and daughter stay, to express the emotions that are involved. Rob’s memories of his unhappy life after the death of his wife are interspersed – occasional encounters with his daughter at family gatherings, where it became clear that she was drifting further and further away from him, and his tentative new relationship, which had no chance of success. Tragically, the more we learn about Rob’s past, the more hope there is for new closeness with his daughter, and yet the more impossible this seems.

Opklaringen evolves into silent musings about the meaning and workings of our memory, about loss and mortality, melancholy and consolation, disappointments in life, and the limited feasibility of love in every shape or form: whether between men and women, parents and children, or acquaintances and strangers. Opklaringen is a novel that exudes compact and solemn emotional strength.

Gie Bogaert’s prose is wonderfully subtle and evocative. Time and time again he creates a unique atmosphere, sometimes by means of his characters, but more often through the intense intimacy of his prose, as he maps the complexity of the emotions brought by attachment, love and longing.

Gie Bogaert writes prose of staggering beauty.

Radio Nederland Wereldomroep

Gie Bogaert is the most lyrical of Flemish authors (…) A dazzling experience.


Gie Bogaert rates as a secret tip for literary connoisseurs.

Vrij Nederland


Opklaringen (2007). Fiction, 188 pages.



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