Like always, Lucas and his mother spend the summer in his grandfather's house, far away from the city. This summer, however, things are different: his grandfather died, and for the first time people start to talk about his past. Lucas soon becomes aware of the fact that people do not tell him everything. Certain aspects of what his grandfather did during the war and even long after, are kept a secret.
Through this long summer of oppressive heat and suspense, Lucas becomes aware of many things he does not understand. What can his Grandfather have done during the war to provoke such hostility in his own home town? Why is there growing crime and tension in the neighbourhood? How should he respond to his new friend, Benoit, whose arguments confuse and compel him, or to Caitlin, with her enigmatic ways and her beautiful, sad dancing? And how should he act when the crisis comes?
Provoost skillfully points out the seductive - and almost enchanting - appeal right extremism can have on young people who do not understand the connection between right wing values from a past generation and racism, neo-nazism and nationality today. In Provoost's own words: 'I want the reader to experience what Lucas experiences. Actually, I was especially interested in the sophisms and the rhetoric of extremism: how is it that what those people proclaim can seem persuasive and plausible?'
A deep, disturbing book about the inexorable influence of the past on the present, the seductive power of extreme nationalism and racism, the complexities of moral and political choice, and the gulf between intentions and consequences. Also a novel about love, fear, anger and forgiveness, showing that life consists of dilemmas rather than of smooth choices.
In Belgium and the Netherlands, the book had 12 editions with different reprints for each edition (20 reprints for the original edition). It was translated in 11 languages. It was brought to the big screen: trailer YouTube video, and four theater plays were written based on the book.