- Official Website
- Aidan Chambers at Wikipedia
- Aidan Chambers at Contemporary Writers
- Aidan Chambers at Library Thing
By turns playful and wrenching, thrilling and meditative, this extraordinary novel, told in dual narratives, takes the reader on a memorable voyage of discovery-the discovery of family secrets, of sex, of art, and of oneself in a foreign city or in the midst of war.
Seventeen-year-old backpacker Jacob Todd has come to Amsterdam to honor his grandfather, a soldier who died in a nearby town in World War II. He isn’t ready for the seductive assault the city launches on his senses. A stranger flirts with him in a café leaving him with this prophetic scribbled message: Nothing in Amsterdam is what it appears to be. In 1944, teenage Geertrui, living in occupied Holland, meets another Jacob Todd, an English soldier who must hide with her family after his battalion pulls out. In the midst of terrible danger, the two become lovers, linking their families in a way that resonates in the present.
From the master storyteller, Aidan Chambers, comes this new thought-provoking novel for teenagers.
Karl, aged seventeen, is hopelessly in love. But the object of his affections, Firella, demands proof, and poses him a series of questions regarding his attitude to the many sides of love. But Karl is dyslexic, and convinced that if Firella finds out, she will think he is stupid, and unworthy of her, and leave him.
So Karl asks a local writer to help him construct his replies—and an unlikely, but extremely touching, friendship develops between the two men. They both come to learn a great deal about about life from a very different perspective, and when an act of violence shatters their calm, they find their respective appraisal of life shifting in profound ways.