A mysterious and poetic tale of love and life by the author of The Virtuoso
Those who have been dazzled by the beauty of brightly-coloured fields of flowers in full bloom immediately behind the dunes of the Dutch coast, will be familiar with the landscape of Margriet de Moor’s fourth novel. Zee-Binnen opens with: ‘Let’s just call this the story of a road.’
It is on this road that he happens to find a woman’s diary with her name written inside. He is seized by an obsessive love for the owner, a woman who he doesn’t know, about whom he has all sorts of fantasies, and with whom he later has a short affair. In the past, several inexplicable accidents have also occurred along this path, which have led to dramatic changes in the lives of many of the villagers.
Although the adulterous relationship between the vet and his lover forms the plot of this book, Zee-Binnen is not primarily a novel about love. It touches upon another, less tangible level of experience by suggesting that people’s lives are intertwined without their being aware of it; that we are joined by invisible, but nevertheless very real, ties which determine our happiness. Everything is connected, De Moor seems to convey between the lines, only we seldom realise it. There is no such thing as coincidence.
It is this mysterious undercurrent running through Zee-Binnen which gives it its sense of repressed tension and which makes a direct appeal to the reader’s imagination. Also the highly suggestive, often poetic use of language, admirably reinforces the eery atmosphere of the novel, in which present and past blend together. ‘The past is paper-thin,’ reflects one of the main characters, ‘and the future a blank page.’ When you finally close the book, you know more, but not everything. Here lies the literary power of Margriet de Moor.