This novel is written in two sections. First section is when Joe is 14 and is sent to his Aunts in Amsterdam. He is having a hard time at home and at school and buries himself in books about birds or whatever his current interest is.
You see the way Joe views his Aunts life. She is a painter and doesn’t live according to the usual 9-5 pattern of his home life. There is a slow pace to the first section but the writing is just so beautiful that you cannot put it down.
The second section picks up pace and is set when Joe is 29 and returns, for the first time since his trip at 14, to Amsterdam. We learn about why at 14 he was troubled and why his life and his Aunts takes the turns that they do.
It is an excellent book that is written so gracefully that I would want everyone to read it. I book to buy and pass on. To talk about. To think about. But beware tissues may need to be on the arm of the coach, the bedside table or wherever you are reading this beautiful novel.