Kito provides an anchor in his parent's incompatible marriage. Chubby and dark-skinned, Kito is ruthlessly bullied at school, but at home he says nothing about what he is going through. retreating further into himself whilst constantly succumbing to the will of his mother, a psychiatrist who struggles to empathize. After a class outing to the beach, Kito goes missing. Days later his lifeless body is discovered washed up on the sand. As her marriage dissolves and her innate maternal instinct grows, Kito's mother becomes obsessed with finding the person responsible for her son's death. Her search leads to drama teacher Hannah, who seemed to have had a special relationship with her son and who was in charge of overseeing the field trip the day he disappeared. Hannah has begun a new life in the Bulgarian countryside, and unsuspectingly welcomes Kito's mother into her new life. As the snow begins to fall the two women become entangled in a claustrophobic relationship, trust between them grows and Hannah hesitantly begins to tell the story of Kito...
'I was captivated by the emotive story and eager to discover the outcome and would definitely look to read more Dutch literature after this gem of a book.' Rhianon Holley, [ BUZZ.] 'This is a powerful and convincing study of how the real victims of death are often the living left behind' [The Irish Times.] The Boy is beautifully-written in elegant and precise prose. It's one of those books you don't rush and make it comfortable for you to take your time. And it's a very intimate look inside the human psyche. - Jill Murphy, [The Book Bag] 'If you're looking for emotional rawness and psychological complexity, then prepare to be engrossed. [...] This is a brilliant and devastating novel with much to debate' [Lizzy Siddal] 'Immediacy which is both effective and discomfiting. [...] This is a deeply disturbing book, not a conventional crime novel with a cut and dried resolution, but a commentary on how we treat people different from the rest of us all wrapped up in a gripping, wrenching piece of storytelling.' [A Life in Books] 'Versteeg has created a character as old as literature. ... This is a powerful and convincing study of how the real victims of death are often the living left behind.' Eileen Battersby, (The Irish Times) 'Heartbreaking, free from voyeurism, and so wonderfully written that one can hardly put the book down' (Elle ,Germany)'This is a literary construct which is presented with such excitement and panache that it transforms fiction into something believable' (Arie Storm Het Parool). Versteeg carries her readers organically along towards dark human desires towards muddy ground where complexity and ambiguity reign, to where the monster is give a human voice. Feel good is entirely absent from Versteeg's sinister, desolate universe of high literature' (Jeroen Vullings, Vrij Nederland). 'Such an incredible write'(Annemaire Oster, de Volkskrant).