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Face to face with yourself

Wish You Were Here

Evelien De Vlieger

Hazel wants to forget B. And what better way to forget someone than to move away for a while and devote all your time to someone else’s children? Hazel starts working as an au pair for a family in Bournemouth, England. Before long, she’s become friends with the peculiar eight-year-old Isaac – and happily puts up with Frank, his pet snail. Hazel has her hands full with one-year-old Lizzie, but she’s only too pleased about that. After all, the long-awaited pleading messages from B. have failed to materialise on her phone. And Hazel can’t figure out dad William, especially not when it comes to the whereabouts of Jo, the family’s mum. Hazel decides to track her down. In the meantime, B. keeps haunting her.

An unbelievably beautiful book. A unique, authentic voice in Flemish literature.

With a great sense of humour and a lightness of touch Evelien De Vlieger paints the portrait of a girl on the cusp of life, who thinks she wants to forget. ‘Wish You Were Here’ is about facing yourself, about letting go, and about daring to admit that you can’t. As Hazel steers a course between melodramatic self-pity and a gleefully cynical outlook on life, ‘Wish You Were Here’ explores the boundaries between tragedy and comedy. A bitter-sweet book full of lust for life.

Evelien De Vlieger intertwines letting go, acceptance and perseverance. A scintillating and sensitive YA novel.
De Vlieger takes a different and much gutsier approach to the girls’ novel than your usual twaddle in the genre, you can rest assured.
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