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"A Heart of Stone" by Renate Dorrestein

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A terrific example of a deft translation, "Een Hart en Steen," or "A Heart of Stone," is moving family fiction (the translation from the Dutch by Hester Velmans). A horror befalls a close family in the Netherlands, and a mother dies. Through most of this book, I maintained the mantra, "Ann Tyler meets Alfred Hitchcock." This is a clear, vivid book, at the end of which we don't necessarily have redemption, but hope. This book recalls Kennedy's "Ironweed" at the end, where the life-worth-living is a work in progress. The "Heart" of the title is a play on the emotional problems of the mother, and a natural fixture at the family home.
I recommend this very highly. I don't know what other works by Ms. Dorrestein may have been translated into English, but this one is very definitely worth taking up.
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