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A thrilling coming-of-age novel

Don't Go to Canada

Evelien De Vlieger

Klaar is looking after her grandparents’ cat while they are off on a weekend trip. She makes a bet with a boy, Peer, that she can teach herself to type in one weekend. If she fails the test, Peer can do whatever he likes with her. While practicing, Klaar finds an old notebook in her grandfather’s handwriting and starts reading about his adventures in Canada, in 1929. She discovers that her grandfather was on the run for something and why he came back. A woman is involved, his big love. In the meantime, her own love for Peer is slowly dawning on her.

De Vlieger has explored and expanded her horizons with verve.
Jürgen Peeters

'Don’t Go to Canada' is an ingeniously-constructed coming-of-age novel: the cleverly-detailed scenes about the grandfather’s blossoming love are subtly linked to Klaar's own, albeit limited, experiences. The suspense generated by the suggestion that her grandfather was involved in a crime keeps the reader enthralled right up to the end. The skilfully-composed ending demonstrates De Vlieger’s true talents: the ability to strip a humiliating scene to the bone, an extraordinarily accurate portrayal of characters and the deployment of various (language) registers that make the story highly authentic.

A book that demonstrates the courage to step outside the boundaries and explore new paths
De Leeswelp