Bonita Avenue

Bestseller lists of popular fiction are dominated by established authors, and particularly the latest instalments of their successful series. For example Michael Connelly with Harry Bosch, David Baldacci with John Puller, C J Sansom with Shardlake, and James Patterson with Alex Cross (the latest being the 22nd outing!). It’s therefore quite refreshing to take a punt on a debut novel. Here’s one to recommend, originally published in Dutch but appearing in English in paperback in 2014: Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Buwalda¬†and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/10767163/Bonita-Avenue-by-Peter-Buwalda-review.html). The summary is as follows. Siem Sigerius is a beloved, brilliant professor of mathematics with a promising future in politics. His family – including a loving wife, two gorgeous, intelligent stepdaughters and a successful future son-in-law – and carefully appointed home in the bucolic countryside complete the portrait of a comfortable, morally upright household. But there are elements of Siem’s past that threaten to upend the peace and stability that he has achieved, and when he stumbles upon a deception that’s painfully close to home, things begin to fall apart. A cataclysmic explosion in a fireworks factory, the advent of internet pornography, and the reappearances of a discarded, dangerous son all play a terrible role in the spectacular fragmentation of the Sigerius clan. This is¬†a riveting portrait of a family in crisis and the ways that even the smallest twists of fate can completely¬†change your life. Strike out on something new and different and be prepared for a tale of relationships, lies and madness. It’s what Christmas is all about.

560 pages in Pushkin Press paperback 2014

First published 2010 in Dutch

This novel was nominated for the Libris Literatuur Prijs 2011, de NS Publieksprijs 2011, de 25th AKO Literatuurprijs, and the Gouden Strop 2011

Translated into English by Jonathan Reeder

ISBN 978-1908968173

 

Peter Buwalda

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