First Lines: De eerste maandag van de maand

Peter Zanting’s second novel De eerste maandag van de maand was released on September 1st, 2014. And since that was the first Monday of the month, you could download it for free on that day. Don’t ask me how that link came to me, but it did, and something triggered me enough to download it, put it on my e-reader and, almost two years later, read it. I am glad I did.

De eerste maandag van de maand is a novel about the illusion of having any form of control over your life. There is Boris — born on the first Monday of the month — who loses his handle on his OCD when his girlfriend breaks up with him, on the first Monday of the month. (“I think it should be over,” she said. “I can’t spend the rest of my life with someone who… I don’t even know who you are.”) He then moves in with his father, widowed on the same first Monday of the month his son was born, and he turns out to be just like his son: silent, keeping things inside and hidden from the world. The only way they can help each other is when they face their own weaknesses.

So, the book started out all fun and games, but then the knife came out and plunged in my gut and twisted and turned there. That was when the father recalled how he first started to deal with this OCD-like thing. Through medication, he got his tics under control, but he realized he had burdened his son with its legacy. And that, that is something I can relate to.

Book read
Peter Zantingh — De eerste maandag van de maand
First line
Dat weekend was de klok een uur teruggezet.