Books by Peter van Gestel

  • Winter Ice

    Peter van Gestel

    | Children's Books

    * English sample translation *

    Rights sold to: Germany (Beltz & Gelberg), France (Gallimard), Italy (Feltrinelli), Russia (Samokat), China (Zhejiang), Korea (Momo Agency), Spanish-speaking South America (Panamericana Editorial)

    1947: Post-war Amsterdam. During a long hot summer, ten-year-old Thomas wanders through the city all alone. He looks back at the coldest and longest winter ever. His mother has died; his father is an artist who can barely make a living. Then Thomas befriends a Jewish boy called Zwaan and his cousin. Thomas gradually discovers the scars the war has left on their lives and this considerably changes his own life. The expressive detail and the constant changes in time and place create a three-dimensional map of post-war Amsterdam, which includes the smells and colours of a crowded classroom, the solid cold snow on the canals, the slippery ice of the River Amstel and the double bed in which Thomas and Zwaan sleep. The underlying emotions are timeless: children such as Thomas are still bullied because they are different. Children and adults alike still suffer in silence, unable to share their emotions. This tale of a child who is physically and emotionally neglected deserves a place amongst the great classic stories.

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