Three storylines run through The Secret, like themes in a symphony, sometimes merging, sometimes overlapping, and sometimes going in different directions: this is the story of Wanda Wierickhe, the story of her past and the story of Bouw, the man she left.
Concert pianist Wanda Wiericke sees music as a way of escaping reality. It is her answer to questions about her place in the world. When forced to choose, she leaves her husband for it. But when her mother literally spits up “the secret” on her deathbed, Wanda is no longer able to withdraw into her music. A rheumatic disorder prevents her from playing: she does not touch a piano again until she has come to terms with her past.
Enquist offers no easy solutions. The book’s climax does not come with the revelation of the secret, but in the process of coming to terms with it.
The Secret has been translated by Jeannette K. Ringold; it was originally published in 1997 as Het Geheim.
About the Author
ANNA ENQUIST is a musician, a psychoanalyst, a poet and a novelist. One of the best-loved writers of her native Holland, she is also a best-selling author in Germany, Switzerland, France, Sweden and Austria. Her first collection of poetry won the award for new Dutch poetry - the prestigious C. Buddingh' prize - and has been followed by four more collections of poetry, all of which have gone back to press frequently. Her novels have achieved similar acclaim; The Masterpiece, The Secret and Ice Carriers all proved to be runaway bestsellers, each with over 250,000 copies sold. The Secret won the 1997 Dutch Readers' Prize. All are available from The Toby Press.
The Critics Praise:
"Enquist calls things by name. She writes resolutely, her sentences are rock-solid, and she never lets the pace slacken. It is the voice of a writer who know exactly where she’s going."
NRC HANDELSBLAD, AMSTERDAM
"This is a work without a single false note...Her writing is full of such finely judged moments, the slow-burning epiphanies resonating in the mind long after the last page has been finished."
The Times, London
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