The Sky over Paris | De hemel boven Parijs
‘Bregje Hofstede presents a new voice in literary fiction that is unusual and promises a great deal more for the future. I have followed her development as a person and a writer since she was nineteen and I am convinced that she has an exceptional talent and a great gift as a stylist and a narrative writer.’ – Aidan Chambers
The Sky over Paris is Bregje Hofstede’s first novel. The comfortable routine of Olivier, a professor of art history at the Sorbonne, is disrupted when his boss asks him to offer guidance to a foreign female student. The awkward Dutch student awakens memories from Olivier’s past, that he would rather have forgotten, but which at the same time are the most dear to him.
Against his better judgment, he opens himself for his pupil, giving her advice that he himself never managed to follow. But Fie has her own life. She struggles with an impossible choice: to reach for the very best, and to be devoured by it — or not to start trying at all in order not to fail. She firmly resists her own fear of life, and invites Olivier to do the same.
The Sky over Paris is about the lies we tell ourselves, so we don’t have to do what we desire most. This is one of the most outstanding love stories in contemporary Dutch literature, and a magnificent debut by a young author.
Praise for Bregje Hofstede:
‘The jury is convinced that this laureate will go far, because she’s got all that the ordinary mortal only dreams of: intelligence, tenacity, promptness and above all the promise of youth.’ – Hollands Maandblad
‘Intelligent, picturesque, moving. A wonderful love story. A debut you can’t evade. A dream debut!’ – Tubantia
‘Hofstede shows her mastery. She has tightly composed the magic in The Sky Over Paris. It looks so simple but shows the author’s confidence and skill which she has in volumes.’ – 8weekly.nl ****
‘Only a few authors can start their careers with such a wonderful debut.’ – Verkaaik Book Sellers, Gouda
‘A wonderful reading experience. Such a wonderful, interesting and clever debut.’ – Derijks Books, Oss
‘What a debut! You immediately feel like you’re in Paris while reading. A pure and sincere story.’ – Krings Book Store, Sittard
‘A wonderful love story, remarkably well crafted. Metaphors chosen with precision and the right momentum at the right time. Hofstede can write which she shows in her debut novel.’ – de Volkskrant
‘The Sky Over Paris is a dream debut. A mature tone of voice, full of sharp observations and a strong structure. Not a tiresome moment in this novel. Many have written about the (great) love and the shaky steps towards it. Bregje Hofstede adds a pure yet well thought out love story to this genre.’ – De Telegraaf
‘This debut is in a league of its own. A touching love story mixed with references to nineteenth century literature and art. A joy to read in all respects.’ – Kennemer Book Store, Haarlem
‘Wonderful. A novel you wish you had written yourself.’ – Bol.com
‘One of the most remarkable love stories of Dutch literature.’ – Zin Magazine
‘Some people seem to have everything. Like Bregje Hofstede. Young, beautiful, with several masters degrees and a talent for writing. Her novel is a wonderful debut. The well-chosen words get a grip on its reader from the very first page. No easy feat for any veteran author but Bregje seems to do it with relative ease. She writes understated and striking. It is beyond obvious that Bregje Hofstede is a literary talent that we need to keep an eye on.’ – Leeuwarder Courant ****