Skip to main content
A beautiful and subtle novel about loss and how to cope with it

Silk Man

Kathleen Vereecken

Paris, just before the French Revolution. Camille and Louis’ father is a silk merchant, which entails regular journeys to China. Until one day he does not return… Fifteen-year-old Camille tries to forget her grief and becomes swept up in the protests against the king and against the disappearance of innocent children. Ten-year-old Louis tries to continue what he sees as his father’s legacy by breeding silk caterpillars, hoping to surprise his father when he returns.

A book for sensitive readers, young or otherwise, who enjoy taking time for nuances

Kathleen Vereecken, alternating between brother and sister, sketches this sad family history against the background of a city where tensions are rising. When Louis disappears, the turmoil of the Revolution suddenly comes very close to home. In her gentle and subtle style, Vereecken combines small and large events. This is a story about love, growing up and letting go, in which both excitement and tranquillity have a place.

Written very visually and effectively
Bart Moeyaert