You Can See the Whole World from Here

Enne Koens’s new book reads like a detective novel, with the author deftly casting out the lines of her story. Once again, she has written a sensitive children’s novel full of colourful figures.

Original title
Vanaf hier kun je de hele wereld zien
Enne Koens

Nine-year-old Deetje is the daughter of a single mother who has little in common with her, in terms of both appearance and character: ‘If you got our cards in a game of Snap, your turn would be over,’ she observes. And it’s starting to bother her. Why does Deetje have brown skin and her mum doesn’t? She must be adopted. Or stolen – Deetje has a vivid imagination, which often runs away with her. Like the day when she finds a letter with ‘return to sender’ on it, which was written to someone who is missed very much. The original address has been scribbled out and the sender’s name is illegible. Deetje senses a mystery and, together with her best friend Vito, she goes out to investigate.

Enne Koens writes about missing someone in flowing, sensitive language full of beautiful parallels.


The events take place in and around Deetje’s block of flats, which she thinks a great place, one she can see the whole world from. During the search for the person the letter was sent to, Deetje and Vito find their way into the homes of various residents. Their stories are melancholy, sometimes heartrending mini-books within the book – but they don’t include the person the letter was sent to. That person turns out to be closer to Deetje than she suspects: the letter leads her to her own roots and to long-hidden family secrets. In a touching conclusion, the mother and daughter, who seem so different, become closer to each other.

Koens’s casual style, with original observations and well-chosen metaphors, effortlessly takes the reader into the thoughts of this nine-year-old. This is a writer who understands how a child’s mind works. Her empathetic style ensures that this new book by Koens is, once again, a pleasure to read.

Although Enne Koens has written beautiful books before, such as Sammie en opa, Hotel Bonbien and Die zomer met Jente, this sixth title is her best one yet. She succeeds in linking Deetje’s existential inner search to a physical quest that brings her into contact with all kinds of colourful figures in the warmly described multicultural housing estate where she lives.


Koens’s style is relaxed, with occasional beautiful and original observations. With her stories, she places the reader directly in the events, while at the same time convincingly drawing them into the inner world of her characters.

Het Parool
Enne Koens
Enne Koens (b. 1974) made her debut in 2007 with the adult novel 'Tot alles gezegd is' (Until Everything Is Said). She originally worked in the theatre but has made a name for herself as a writer of psychological children’s books that are characterised by their light tone.
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