Publication Date: March 9, 2010
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On the night of January 31, 1953, a mountain of water, literally piled up out of the sea by a freak winter hurricane, swept down onto the Netherlands, demolishing the dikes protecting the country and wiping a quarter of its landmass from the map. It was the worst natural disaster to strike the Netherlands in three hundred years.
The morning of the storm, Armanda asks her sister, Lidy, to take her place on a visit to her godchild in the town of Zierikzee. In turn, Armanda will care for Lidy's two-year-old daughter and accompany Lidy’s husband to a party. The sisters, both of them young and beautiful, look so alike that no one may even notice. But what Armanda can’t know is that her little comedy is a provocation to fate: Lidy is headed for the center of the deadly storm.
Margriet de Moor interweaves the stories of these two sisters, deftly alternating between the cataclysm and the long years of its grief-strewn aftermath. While Lidy struggles to survive, surrounded by people she barely knows, Armanda must master the future, trying to live out the life of her missing sister as if it were her own.
A brilliant meshing of history and imagination, The Storm is a powerfully dramatic and psychologically gripping novel from one of Europe’s most compelling writers.
Born in the Netherlands in 1941, Margriet de Moor had a career as a classical singer before becoming a novelist. Her debut novel, First Gray, Then White, Then Blue, was a sensational success across Europe, winning her the AKO Literature Prize, for which her second novel, The Virtuoso, was also nominated. She has since published several other novels, including Duke of Egypt and The Kreutzer Sonata. Her books have been translated into twenty languages.
"Musical...[de Moor's] prose is shot through with recurring leitmotifs and song; and her sensitivity to sound and tempo permeates her new novel." --The New York Times Book Review
"A moving dramatization of a historical catastrophe which bears disturbing resemblances to recent global occurrences . . . It's hard to resist using the word 'symphonic' to describe this exquisitely composed, piercingly moving story. De Moor continues to scale increasingly impressive heights." --Kirkus