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Enthralling, dark, very successful debut novel

The Melting

Lize Spit

Eva, in her late twenties, travels back to her native village with a big block of ice in her car. She has been invited to a viewing of a new milking parlour at a dairy farm where her childhood friend Pim still lives, an occasion that will also serve to commemorate the death of his older brother, who drowned as a young man.

A debut that you wish every writer would write: surprising, imaginative and merciless *****
De Standaard

The narrative switches between present and past and it slowly becomes clear Eva returned to her village to take revenge for what happened to her as a child. Spit describes with great acuity and affection Eva’s unhappy childhood with a neurotic sister, a dominant father and a weak-willed mother. This domestic wasteland creates a tight bond with Laurens and Pim, who were the only other children of her age in the village.

When the three of them reach puberty, teenage hormones create a rift between them. They invent a cruel game. Every day they give a girl the same riddle and for each wrong guess she has to take off a piece of clothing. In an effort to make friends with Elisa, a haughty girl from town who spends her holidays in the village, Eva gives away the solution to the riddle. Elisa makes use of this foreknowledge to play a trick on all three.

Thirteen years later it is Eva who has a plan.

Lize Spit has made a grand entrance at the start of her writing career
Video portrait of Lize Spit © Flanders DC