(From the publisher):
In the golden Amsterdam summer of 1939 on a crystal river in Holland, two young oarsmen train with a mysterious coach Schneiderhahn, a refugee from Germany. Anton, a shy teenager from a lower-class family, is paired with Jewish oarsman David, who is both affluent and self-assured. Suddenly into Anton's drab life there is the magnatism of the river, boats, the flash of sunlight on the copper oarlocks, and his strong, silent, almost amorous friendship with David. All summer, a quiet obsession and magical bond form between them as the intensity of their training and competitions increases and they compete to row in the Olympics that never take place. On the wintry eve of Holland's liberation five years later, Anton stands on the banks of his beloved river and remembers the majestic summer he spent with David. Past and present flip back and forth like oars, from the prewar summer on the water in 1939 to the same city five years later, stripped of life by the war. Now the boathouse is derelict and deserted, and the river reflects only bombers roaring across the sky from England to Nazi Germany. David has long since disappeared, and the starving city is a cruel, shadowy reminder of what once was.
Original title: Over Het Water
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ World War II