Gentle and quietly moving, with elegant prose that brings to life this deceptively simple tale of an adolescent boy growing up in a Flemish village. The reader lives with his inexperience and intensity as he attempts to discover a true image of his deceased father via the portal of family photographs and snatches of fragmented childhood memory. It is the lyrical use of language that makes this meditative novel quite mesmerising.
In photos dating from before my birth, my absence from them felt like an unforgivable oversight. There was something wrong about the sunlight, and about the smiling faces at dinners from which I was excluded. Not only was it impossible to imagine the world without me in it, the question whether I would still be me if my mother had married someone else kept preying on my mind. Who was I? Which part of me came from where?