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The mystery of Kaspar Hauser unravelled

Cellar Child

Kristien Dieltiens

Kaspar Hauser has intrigued historians, writers and artists for centuries. Kristien Dieltiens has constructed a masterful novel around his life. 'Cellar Child' begins with an impressive scene that grips the reader and refuses to let go until the breathtaking finale 480 pages later. This is an extraordinarily rich book. It is not only captivating and exciting; it also paints a vivid psychological portrait of two outcasts, both rejected by society. In addition to Kaspar, we follow the trail of Manfred, a boy of lowly birth, born with a hare lip. He is bullied and excluded and his mother’s intense love is not enough to stop him developing into a recluse. The adult Manfred still longs for the slightest gesture of friendship and love. His vulnerability makes him a perfect pawn for evil.

Her magnum opus
De Standaard

Dieltiens has penned a literary page turner. The story’s timing is perfect, with alternating moments of suspense and reflection. The author avoids the cheap sentiment and heavy emotions in which such a plot might be inclined to indulge. 'Cellar Child' is an enthralling novel that lingers long after the last page.

An epic story about life and identity that is hard to put down
De Morgen