Flanders, 1915. David Verbocht, sentenced to death as a deserter, stands before the firing squad and looks back on his short life. As a young man, David was sent away by his parents, after a tragic accident in the family, to become a schoolteacher in a remote village. There he develops a special bond with a sensitive young student, along with feelings for the boy's mother. When fate strikes again, the history of loss and guilt seems to repeat itself.
Jan Vantoortelboom grew up in Elverdinge, a small village in Belgium. His second novel, His Name Is David, surpassed the success of his debut and cemented his position in Dutch literature. The title was chosen as Book of the Month by the influential Dutch talk show DWDD and became an overnight success.
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About the AuthorJAN VANTOORTELBOOM, originally a teacher, grew up in Elverdinge, a small village in Belgium. He studied English literature in Gent and at the University of Dublin. In 2011 he debuted with the prize-winning novel De verzonken jongen ('The Sunken Boy'), a coming-of-age tale about a family riddled with mysteries set against the backdrop of World War I. His second novel, His Name Is David, surpassed the success of his debut and cemented his position in Dutch literature. It was chosen as Book of the Month by the influential Dutch talk show DWDD, and has sold 30,000 copies in the Netherlands and Belgium.
"So spare and classic are its virtues, this is a novel that could have been written decades ago. But there's deep complexity in its considerations of fate, morality, and belief." --Kirkus Reviews
"Vantortelboom's slender novel feels light and dreamy. He gives his characters the space to interact with the world around them and each other, and it is often what is left unsaid that proves to be most important to the story. A thoughtful and engaging read." --Historical Novel Society
"For a relatively young writer, Vantoortelboom strikes a powerfully emotive chord" --Irish Examiner
"Stories of people with whom you can really identify"--Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant
"Vantoortelboom's evocative prose plunges the reader immediately into the Flanders of WWII --Trouw
"A book that leaves a deep impression. From the first page on, it has you in its grip. Containing all the big themes, it is moving, endearing, and beautifully written' --Book of the Month, DWDD Booksellers Panel
"Intelligent and well-composed" --De Morgen
"Vantoortelboom writes like a true Thoreau about the almost magical beauty of nature: a nature that also provides him with the parallels that are so important running through this book" --Knack Focus
"A book to get excited about" --NRC Handelsblad
"His Name is David crawls deep under your skin and nestles there" --Humo
"Skillfully constructed--weaving action, introspection and flashback" --De Groene Amsterdammer
"Just wonderful" --De Telegraaf
"The first pages are immediately of a devastating intensity" --8Weekly
"A discovery. The images that the writer evokes are so strong that you instantly feel connected as a reader. A beautiful story, compelling and moving. Highly recommended" --Tros Nieuwsshow
"Compelling and strongly composed: a beautifully written novel" --Visie
"A novel written in beautiful Flemish about guilt and innocence, responsibility and choice, and the good and evil sides of people" --Boek
"Every single word rings true. In just a few sentences Vantoortelboom outlines a situation, creates atmosphere, evokes feelings. In an incredibly well-constructed story, he keeps adding stones until a carefully crafted house is born--a beautiful work in book form" --Nederlands Dagblad