Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review: We & Me by Saskia de Coster

Title: We & Me
Author: Saskia de Coster
Publisher: World Editions
Publish Date: October 2, 2018
Source: Publisher

What’s the Story?:

From “Written from several different perspectives, We and Me covers the time period between 1980 and 2013 and focuses on the aristocratic Vandersanden family. Set in their opulent private estate located atop a mountain, neuroses, claustrophobia, scandal and rebellion run rife. At the heart of the family and the novel is Sarah, whose coming of age is both daringly and sensitively explored in de Coster’s skillful prose”

My Two Cents:

In “We & Me” is a quietly observant story of a family made up of a mother, father, and daughter. This book covers almost thirty years in the life of this family. Their life seems not unfamiliar to many other families - they struggle with the same thoughts and the same struggles throughout the book. Some of the characters grow more than others. I was excited to read this book as part of Boekenweek and as an introduction to Saskia de Coster, who has won a few literary accolades.

This book started out slowly for me. We see how the family interacts with each other. Sarah, the daughter of the family, is very young when the book opens. In a lot of ways, she is the character that grows and changes the most throughout the book. I did like following her journey throughout the book. Some of the other characters just don’t seem to learn throughout the book, which was a bit frustrating.

De Coster does a great job of writing complicated characters. These characters are not necessarily likeable but you get a good feel for what drives them and what makes them tick. I did appreciate all of the observations and this is very much a character-driven novel rather than action. 

Overall, there are some pretty keen observations of human behavior throughout the book. This would be a good pick for anyone interested in character studies.


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