The book starts in the 1980s when Chris Dudok is found dead in his study by his driver. He has committed suicide. The novel is also based around events in World War II when Chris met Julia, the love of his life. When he is found dead there is a copy of a German newspaper on his desk with a name circled on the front page. The reader is then taken back to the 1940s as the story and the mystery of his suicide begins to unfold.
The novel follows Chris’s life starting with his love for Julia, through an unhappy and loveless marriage, the responsibility he has to shoulder when his father dies and he has to take over running the factory, then into his later years where he lives alone and employs a driver.
It is an excellent storyline, which keeps the reader engrossed, and at less than two hundred pages can easily be read in one sitting. Even though the book is a translation from the Dutch, this can easily be forgotten in the vivid descriptions and easy poetic language. The characters are well written and believable. Chris grows and ages though the book, and although the book starts with his death the reader grows quite close to him, and he stays with you after the book has ended.