cover image Midnight Blue

Midnight Blue

Simone van der Vlugt, trans. from the Dutch by Jenny Watson. Morrow, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-268686-2

Set in 1654, Dutch author van der Vlugt’s first novel to be published in the U.S. paints a fascinating portrait of Holland at the height of its economic and artistic power. After one moment of weakness leads to a pregnancy, independent, resourceful Catrin Barentsdochter ends up married to Govert, a violent, brutish man twice her age. Soon after the baby is stillborn, Govert dies in a drunken rampage. Catrin sells their property and sets out to make her way in the world. She ends up in Delft, where she finds work as a china painter for Evert van Nulandt, the kind owner of a pottery workshop, just as fine Dutch porcelain is being developed. In Delft, she finds friends, success, and love. But Catrin has a horrifying secret, and the one person who knows it threatens to destroy everything. The mystery element is slight, but mid-17th-century Holland is a wonderful place for lovers of historical fiction to visit, populated by great artists, intrepid explorers, and enterprising merchants. [em]Agent: Laura Susijn, Susijn Agency (U.K.). (June) [/em]