In a Flemish parcel of land atop a mountain, lives the family Vandersanden. The neurotic, aristocratic Mieke combs her carpets and keeps a close eye on her family and neighbors. Her husband, the self-made man Stefaan, has made a career in a scandal-plagued pharmaceutical company. Daughter Sarah, overprotected and curious about real life, seeks her own way in the middle of her generation, but will she fall prey to a major family secret or can she, on her own, break the old pattern?
In Us and me the reader lands in the midst of an upper class world teeming with dramas, large and small, where love, truth and ambition are regularly at odds. Us and me is a brilliant, astute, family novel, full of intriguing characters sketched with great psychological insight and compassion. The book takes the measure of the modern European, and demonstrates the strength of family ties.
With her sublime, quirky pen, Saskia de Coster paints the tragic and the comic in a novel that is as much a literary Desperate Housewives as a European answer to Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. It’s a masterful chronicle of a flawed family in these times.
Saskia de Coster (1976) is an artist, playwright and regular participant in television debates, but above all she is the author of a unique literary oeuvre. Several of her novels (Held (Hero), Dit is van mij (This is from me)) were listed for literary prizes such as the AKO Literature Prize and The Golden Book Owl.
Denmark (Turbine), UK (World Editions), Germany (Klett-Cotta)
Film rights sold
English sample translation available
‘The great Flemish Novel is not dead. It is just written by Saskia de Coster. Us and me is a novel that has stayed with me. Rock solid and unforgettable.’ Herman Koch
‘Impressive Bildungsroman and family history. The story is played out in her gorgeous language.’ NRC Handelsblad ****
‘Razor sharp and with great psychological insight.’ Jury Opzij Literature Prize