War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans

War and Turpentine

Stefan Hertmans

A very touching read about a man looking back at the special relationship he had with his late grandfather. When Stefan discovers his grandfather’s diaries in the attic he gradually unfolds the moving story of a soldier’s bravery, and the tragedy of losing the greatest love of his life. A gentle book but with a tough interior - the characters stayed with me for a long while after closing the last page.

Extract

There she hangs, flagrantly nude and inviolable: Velazquez's Venus at her Mirror...I am catapulted back in time - to the day in my childhood when I hopped up the three steps to his room and found him crying silently with a reproduction of this painting in his hands.

Parallels
  • The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
  • Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
  • Resistance by Anita Shreve
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Violence