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The Stormby Margriet De Moor
Synopses & Reviews
On the night of January 31, 1953, a mountain of water, literally piled up out of the sea by a freak winter hurricane, swept down onto the Netherlands, demolishing the dikes protecting the country and wiping a quarter of its landmass from the map. It was the worst natural disaster to strike the Netherlands in three hundred years.
The morning of the storm, Armanda asks her sister, Lidy, to take her place on a visit to her godchild in the town of Zierikzee. In turn, Armanda will care for Lidy's two-year-old daughter and accompany Lidys husband to a party. The sisters, both of them young and beautiful, look so alike that no one may even notice. But what Armanda cant know is that her little comedy is a provocation to fate: Lidy is headed for the center of the deadly storm.
Margriet de Moor interweaves the stories of these two sisters, deftly alternating between the cataclysm and the long years of its grief-strewn aftermath. While Lidy struggles to survive, surrounded by people she barely knows, Armanda must master the future, trying to live out the life of her missing sister as if it were her own.
A brilliant meshing of history and imagination, The Storm is a powerfully dramatic and psychologically gripping novel from one of Europes most compelling writers.
"A laborious translation doesn't help to recommend this otherwise gripping story of dueling Dutch sisters who become separated by a monstrous meteorological anomaly. Lidy takes her sister Armanda's place on a group trip that ends with a final stand against the legendary New Year's storm of 1953 that swallowed a large chunk of Holland, killing nearly 2,000. Lidy's efforts to stay alive span the better part of this saga, and that's a good thing: de Moor is at her strongest describing the raging elements and Lidy's traveling partners' final hours in a farmhouse attic; the arresting details suck the reader into the maelstrom as inexorably as any of the protagonists. While it's difficult to tell whether the prose's lack of fluidness is simply de Moor's style or an aspect of the translation ('Cathrien Padmos began to breathe heavily for the third time in her married life, or to put it more precisely, the cervix was in its last stages of dilation'), her methodical writing is well suited to the story's technical aspects, of which there are many. Despite some rocky moments — events are set in motion by 'a concatenation of different circumstances' — de Moor (The Kreutzer Sonata) pulls off an involving saga of death foretold." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Born in the Netherlands in 1941, Margriet de Moor had a career as a classical singer before becoming a novelist. Her debut novel, First Gray, Then White, Then Blue, was a sensational success across Europe, winning her the AKO Literature Prize, for which her second novel, The Virtuoso, was also nominated. She has since published several other novels, including Duke of Egypt and The Kreutzer Sonata. Her books have been translated into twenty languages.
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