This taut first novel (originally published in 1990) by the Dutch author of The Virtuoso
is a "Laura"-like mystery about the buried past of Magda Rezkova, a troubled Czech woman presumably murdered by her husband Robert Noort, an industrial executive and frustrated artist. De Moor skillfully moves among several past times, focusing in turn on the intense Robert, his former boyhood friend Erik (who became Magda's lover), Erik's stoical wife Nellie and their retarded adult son Gaby, as well as Magda herself (whose traumatized elusiveness dates back to her family's victimization by Nazi soldiers). The story rises to a rich thematic crescendo as the abstracted Gaby's savant-like passion for astronomy is subtly linked with Magda's strategies to escape her past—and de Moor draws it all together in the stunning final pages. A brilliant debut.
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