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An adventure story with psychological depth


Marleen Nelen

Norway, a sleepy fishing village at the beginning of the 20th century. Finn and his mother are on the brink of poverty. His father Johannes has been at sea for three years, carrying out scientific observations, which he wants to include in an encyclopaedia, and his mother’s money has almost run out. When Johannes finally returns, the joy is short-lived: he soon leaves on an expedition to the North Pole on an ultra-modern icebreaker. He promises Finn that he’ll stay in touch, using the radio to transmit messages in Morse code. When that does not happen, Finn builds a radio himself, together with his new friend Aage. But then suddenly there is no more time.

A layered book about a voyage of discovery
Jaap Friso

In ‘Hertz’, Marleen Nelen shows her ability to create a very visual, almost cinematic style with plenty of finely crafted images. Against the background of a village that is being forced into modernisation and the inhumanity that sometimes accompanies it, a story of sadness and indefinable longing unfolds, which also smoothly incorporates gripping scenes.

‘Hertz’ demonstrates Nelen’s stylistic evolution