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Claustrophobic novel about the loss of identity


Peter Terrin

Astrid is a successful events manager, aged thirty-nine. She is married to David and they have a five-year-old son, Louis. When her phone falls into her son’s bath after a busy day at work, something snaps in her. Impulsively, she walks out of the house and drives out of her residential suburb.

On the motorway, she comes to her senses and rushes back before anything happens to Louis. But when her husband David’s car is unexpectedly in front of the house, she doesn’t dare to go in. Instead of going back to her family, she wanders around, and meets old acquaintances and new faces. She vacillates between a regained freedom and half-hearted, nervous attempts to go back to her own life.

Terrin makes his observations with an enviable eye for detail and his writing, as ever, is polished and direct.

‘Patricia’ is an exciting novel that is able to disconcert the reader. In controlled prose, Peter Terrin sketches a surreal and oppressive portrait of a woman who loses it in an apparently safe and everyday environment. The sinister air of menace is pervasive, and yet not a single drop of blood is ever shed. In ‘Patricia’, madness and reality compete, and nothing is what it seems.

An unmistakable Peter Terrin novel, maybe his most engaging one to date ****
NRC Handelsblad
An intimate, multi-layered female portrait
De Morgen