The Safekeep

The Safekeep

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 30/05/2024
RRP £16.99
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Safekeep
A surprising and sensual novel
A surprising and sensual novel that ripples with intrigue and paranoia. Slow-going to begin with, but picks up towards the middle when a POV shift makes a ... READ MORE
Tilly at Croydon
The Safekeep
Simmering tension and dark secrets
I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this novel up with little knowledge of the premise but I loved this. The sense of place in this novel underpi... READ MORE
The Safekeep
Sensually and Painfully Haunting
This novel took me entirely by surprise. A masterful debut, it deftly balances stunningly real characterisation, sensual and lyrical language, and a genuin... READ MORE
Ellie at Lancaster
The Safekeep
Tense and atmospheric
The book starts slow and atmospheric - the disquiet between siblings dealing with meeting the eldest brother's new girlfriend; our central character Isabel... READ MORE
The Safekeep
Started this book around 10am and finished it at 2am the same day. I have not torn through a book like that in years. Tense, inflamed, engrossing. The turn... READ MORE
Benny Duverge-Pryce
The Safekeep
A stunning debut
I didn’t know what to expect going into The Safekeep, but I couldn’t be more grateful that I decided to give it a try. This is a mesmerising, tense, stagge... READ MORE
Charlotte Portman
The Safekeep
Stunning and subtle, with a twist
Such a beautiful, tender and poignant book. We are in the Netherlands in the early 1960s with Isabel, who is living in her mother’s house in the country. H... READ MORE
Beth at Chesterfield


An exhilarating tale of twisted desire, histories and homes, and the unexpected shape of revenge - for readers of Patricia Highsmith, Sarah Waters and Ian McEwan's Atonement.

It's 1961 and the rural Dutch province of Overijssel is quiet. Bomb craters have been filled, buildings reconstructed, and the war is well and truly over. Living alone in her late mother's country home, Isabel's life is as it should be: led by routine and discipline. But all is upended when her brother Louis delivers his graceless new girlfriend, Eva, at Isabel's doorstep-as a guest, there to stay for the season...

Eva is Isabel's antithesis: sleeps late, wakes late, walks loudly through the house and touches things she shouldn't. In response Isabel develops a fury-fuelled obsession, and when things start disappearing around the house-a spoon, a knife, a bowl-Isabel' suspicions spiral out of control. In the sweltering peak of summer, Isabel's paranoia gives way to desire - leading to a discovery that unravels all Isabel has ever known. The war might not be well and truly over after all, and neither Eva - nor the house in which they live - are what they seem.

  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780241652305
  • Number of pages: 272
  • Weight: 313g
  • Dimensions: 205 x 135 x 22 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Safekeep
Clever and Addictive
A tale of twisted family dynamics and the complexities of shame in histories both nationally and personally. This was a slow burner for me. I think I found... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley
The Safekeep
For me the first 25% of this book was a total bore but I'm so glad I stuck with it because I really ended up liking it. It is sensual and thoughtful and wi... READ MORE
The Safekeep
Taut and twisty
This was an unusual choice for me, but as I enjoy reading books in translation - and haven’t ever read one by an author from the Netherlands - I wanted to ... READ MORE
The Safekeep
Claustrophobic and surprisingly addictive - I LOVED this book
I pottered through the first twenty pages or so and was then suddenly hooked by the introduction of a new character and then a series of plot twists that l... READ MORE
Sarah Lynwode, Regional Events Coordinator
The Safekeep
A wonderful literary sapphic read
A wonderful literary read centred around two very different women. Set in 1961 in Overijssel, a rural province of The Netherlands, Isabel lives alone in w... READ MORE
Lynda Checkley
The Safekeep
A story full of twists and emotion
I loved this. Beautiful, atmospheric writing with a story full of twists. Exposes the devastating impact of the Holocaust in post war Europe and also has a... READ MORE
Matilda Gould
The Safekeep
Unexpected Enjoyable Read
The Safekeep was an unexpected enjoyable read for me. I went into it tentatively, unsure what would happen or how the, now finished, World War 2 would rear... READ MORE
Katie Harvey
The Safekeep
Good Read
It's 1961 and the rural Dutch province of Overijssel is quiet. Bomb craters have been filled, buildings reconstructed, and the war is well and truly over. ... READ MORE
steve cripwell
The Safekeep
Great debut
Wow, this certainly wasn’t quite what I was expecting! The story of a house and its belongings, the people who live in it, love and relationships, being tr... READ MORE
Mrs G Librarian
The Safekeep
Powerful intense and thought provoking read - highly recommended
This is a brooding and powerful novel. No spoilers ! Its energy and power creeps up slowly... the first part of the story introduces Isabel who has lived... READ MORE
Stephen - the bookworm
The Safekeep
Tense and Compelling
A terrific debut novel with the plot bearing swiftly - too swiftly? - in a most unexpected direction. For a large part of the novel, two unlikeable female ... READ MORE
The Safekeep
An astonishing book
What an astonishing book. This will stay with me for a long time. Tension , in the writing, which retains a huge part of the original language in its restr... READ MORE
Sandra Morgan
The Safekeep
interesting and intense
An interesting and intense book with an unusual take on WW2 and its aftermath in Holland. The characters were well drawn and believable and I was increasin... READ MORE
The Safekeep
Post war Holland
I am giving this book five stars for its prose, its characterisation and the intriguing relationships that are slowly revealed. However, I do not want to w... READ MORE
Helen Pugh
The Safekeep
A completely unexpected page turner.
What a remarkable book. Parachuted straight into a scene that represents conventional, conservative Dutch family life in 1961, we meet adult siblings Is... READ MORE
The Safekeep
Love as forest fire, earthquake, tsunami and even transformation
What an extraordinary and surprising read this is. Set in 1961, primarily in a house in the Dutch countryside, which has a background hinted at, and then s... READ MORE
Lady Fancifull
The Safekeep
A very special read
This isn't your run of the mill historical novel, this is something extra special. The main characters Isabel and Eva are connected in so many ways, some w... READ MORE
Mel Pretorius
The Safekeep
Broody, sexy, immersive read
Set in post-war Netherlands, this novel gives interesting glimpses of the history and attitudes of the time but also focuses on one main character, Isabel,... READ MORE
Heather Trevis
The Safekeep
War and the damage done... an intriguing read!
This intriguing story is set in the Netherlands at the start of the 1960s, but its themes concern the ongoing repercussions of the Second World War, the oc... READ MORE
Jim Sweetman