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A moving novel about how people get by in life

Many Heavens Beyond the Seventh

Griet Op de Beeck

Five people, linked together, tell their story. Eva is 36, unmarried, highly qualified and works in the prison system. Her sister, the 42-year-old Elsie, is intelligent, witty and full of joie de vivre. Her marriage to Walter has seen better days. They stay together, despite Elsie’s passionate love for Casper. This 46-year-old artist, married and with one son, is hopelessly in love with Elsie. Then there is Lou, Elsie’s 12-year-old daughter. Lou is sensitive and smart but cannot get on with girlfriends. She seeks solace with her Aunt Eva, who is just as sensitive as she is. And finally there is Jos, over seventy, an alcoholic and the father of Elsie and Eva.

A delightful debut
HP/De Tijd

All these characters report their troubles great and small. They talk about unexpected happiness that makes things complicated, about secrets that seem too big to handle, about the complex art of being young, about obstacles that seem like mountains, about keeping on trying, to the point where no one can go any further.

'Many Heavens Beyond the Seventh', which has already been reprinted more than 50 times, is about the bonds between people, despite their mutual squabbles. It is a plea for embracing happiness firmly, when it is there for the taking.

A warm book that could have been twice as long
NRC Handelsblad
Five complete portraits, without one false note: Op de Beeck enchants *****
De Volkskrant