Another heartrending story from the bestselling Dutch author, set on the Isle of Mull, of abused and lost children and the old spinster in whose car they stow away. For ten-year-old Christine, home is a hostile, troubling place. Her mother reserves her love for her younger, live-in lover, and for Waldo, Christine's teenage brother. Christine viciously takes out her angry feelings on her Barbies and on a weaker girl in her class, but she can't get rid of the elephant sitting on her shoulders because of the secret visits to her room at night. On a family camping holiday in Oban in Scotland, something terrible happens. In a panic, Christine runs away with her four-year-old brother, and hides in the back of a stranger's car. Agnes Stam is an elderly Dutch spinster, making her annual summer pilgrimage to her family's holiday cottage on Mull. For the first time, she will be there all alone, When she discovers the little stowaways in her car, she fails to report the missing children and allows them to stay. And so a little girl with a big, guilty secret becomes a lonely old woman's salvation - and also her nemesis.
Renate Dorrestein Renate Dorrestein is one of Holland's best-loved novelists. Born in Amsterdam in 1954, she became a journalist before writing her first novel, Outsiders, which was published in 1983. Her books have regularly appeared at the top of the Dutch bestsellers lists ever since. She has been nominated for the Libris Prize and won an Annie Romein Prize in 1993 for her 'original and irresistible' body of work. In 1997 she was voted runner-up for the Publieksprijs for the most popular Dutch writer. A Heart of Stone was her first novel to be translated into English, Without Mercy is the second.