A gritty and somewhat dark story about Willem, a man who lives in a world limited by his intellectual capabilities. His mam is his lifeline and shelter from the rest of the world who doesn’t always see that the large man isn’t able to fully function socially on his own. Willem goes to his job every day, the routine of it and making a living his main focus in life. Willem longs for companionship, but often is taken advantage of, except for his mam and his canine friend, Jap.
One day Willem goes to the construction yard like every other day, only to be told that the entire site is shut down, and there is no work. Although he has been told his job is gone, Willem goes to the yard each morning, sitting and waiting for the padlock to be removed from the gate. Within a few days, Willem’s mam dies, and besides the emotional upheaval he finds himself without a home.
The story chronicles the actions that lead Willem to live out on the streets, and even further on the outskirts of society than before. Willem only has limited resources and abilities to survive with, and violent behavior and crime are part of his arsenal. He has no one and nowhere to turn for support, and though his progression into a dark place is somewhat understandable, you want the redemption and succor to arrive for him.
Willem takes to the rural mountain area to escape, and finds temporary sanctuary on a remote farm. His past comes to light, and once again he can’t stop his pain and fear turning into blind rage.
This book was certainly a sad and hard look into how society views and treats those who don’t “fit” into the parameters of what is considered normal, and how individuals tend to reveal the worst of humanity when it benefits them – no matter the harm to someone who can’t fully defend themselves. It left a very melancholy and depressing feeling when I finished it, but had many insightful truths that are around us every day.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for sharing my honest opinions.