Book Review: Ten White Geese

Title: Ten White Geesecover23864-medium
Author: Gerbarnd Bakker
ISBN: 9780143122678
Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Penguin
Source: Advance copy via NetGalley
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Rating: 3 out of 5


A woman rents a remote farm in rural Wales. She says her name is Emilie. An Emily Dickinson scholar, she has fled Amsterdam, having just confessed to an affair. On the farm she finds ten geese. One by one they disappear. Who is this woman? Will her husband manage to find her? The young man who stays the night: why won’t he leave? And the vanishing geese?

My Review:

A mysterious Dutch woman seeks solitude in Wales. She claims to be researching on the author Emily Dickinson. During her stay in Wales, she recognises aspects of her own life that resonate with Dickinson’s poems. She clearly has a past which she has left behind and we learn about it in between her daily activities. For most part of the novel we read about her waking up and going about her day. Nothing really “happens” most of the time.

Ten White Geese is a minimalist book. The tone is stark, clipped and raw. There is a feeling of doom lurking around the corner. We don’t have a clear linear picture of what is happening and how events took place in the past that led this woman to Wales. The book isn’t easy to read but you can’t stop reading it. Recomended!


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