The Detour

Front Cover
Harvill Secker, 2012 - Adultery - 230 pages
10 Reviews


A Dutch woman rents a remote farm in rural Wales. She says her name is Emilie. She is a lecturer doing some research, and sets about making the farmhouse more homely. When she arrives there are ten geese living in the garden but one by one they disappear. Perhaps it's the work of a local fox.

She has fled from an unbearable situation having recently confessed to an affair with one of her students. In Amsterdam, her stunned husband forms a strange partnership with a detective who agrees to help him trace her. They board the ferry to Hull on Christmas Eve.

Back on the farm, a young man out walking with his dog injures himself and stays the night, then ends up staying longer. Yet something is deeply wrong. Does he know what he is getting himself into? And what will happen when her husband and the policeman arrive?

Gerbrand Bakker has made the territories of isolation, inner turmoil and the solace offered by the natural world his own. The Detour is a deeply moving new novel, shot through with longing and the quiet tragedy of everyday lives.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lucybrown - LibraryThing

A woman, a Dutch academic, flees her former life in Amsterdam for the solitude of a Welsh farm. Why? A love affair with a student that ended badly? Poor progress on her dissertation about Emily ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - denisa.howe - LibraryThing

I cannot fault this writer’s ability to describe. It is as if the writer themselves is living this novel, each breath, each touch and or sense that is brought out to the reader. At times it was a bit ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Gerbrand Bakker worked as a subtitler for nature films before becoming a gardener. His debut novel The Twin won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and will soon be made into a film.

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