The Discomfort of Evening

The Discomfort of Evening

A Novel

Book - 2020
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"Ten-year-old Jas lives with her strictly religious parents and her siblings on a dairy farm where waste and frivolity are akin to sin. Despite the dreary routine of their days, Jas has a unique way of experiencing her world: her face soft like cheese under her mother's hands; the texture of green warts, like capers, on migrating toads in the village; the sound of "blush words" that aren't in the Bible. One icy morning, the disciplined rhythm of her family's life is ruptured by a tragic accident, and Jas is convinced she is to blame. As her parents' suffering makes them increasingly distant, Jas and her siblings develop a curiosity about death that leads them into disturbing rituals and fantasies. Cocooned in her red winter coat, Jas dreams of "the other side" and of salvation, not knowing where this dreaming will finally lead her. A best seller in the Netherlands, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld's radical debut novel offers readers a rare vision of rural and religious life in the Netherlands. In it, she asks: In the absence of comfort and care, what can the mind of a child invent to protect itself? And what happens when that is not enough? With stunning psychological acuity and images of haunting, violent beauty, Rijneveld has created a captivating world of language unlike any other"--
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, ©2020.
ISBN: 9781644450345
Characteristics: 282 pages ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Hutchison, Michele - Translator


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Feb 11, 2021

For the life of me I can't figure out why or how this won the Booker Prize. That the loss of a son/brother would drive a family to extreme measures is not surprising but the inclusion of sexual depravity among children is beyond comprehension. I do not recommend this book and I regret wasting the time reading it.

Feb 06, 2021

Very depressing and depraved book. I read it to the end hoping to find something uplifting about it. Nope. Very twisted and dark. Wouldn't recommend it.

Jan 27, 2021

I can imagine wanting or needing to write this book ,but I can’t think why anyone would want to read it.
It was troubling on many levels, but the sexual brutality between children really pushed this past my level of tolerance.

jr3083 Aug 28, 2020

I read this because it was shortlisted for the Booker International. I am appalled that it won. Surely there is enough pain and unhappiness in the world.

I found this a really disturbing book, which means that it will probably stay with me. I don’t know if I really want it to. It’s a debut novel: does this mean that it has succeeded? I suppose it does – and it has certainly attracted critical acclaim- but I felt like having a hot shower and seeking out a book to make me laugh, to remove the misery that clung to me as I finished it.

For my complete review, please visit

Aug 27, 2020

2020 Booker prize winner

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