The Blessed Rita
The Blessed Rita by Tommy Wieringa, translation: Sam Garrett
(Scribe, Spring 2020, 320 pages)
Paul Krüzen, the novel’s unlikely hero, is given a gift by his best friend Hedwiges: a medal of Saint Rita, the patron saint of lost causes. Like most of the men in this book, the two are solitary souls, misfits at odds with the modern world. In this majestic novel, Tommy Wieringa not only returns to the rural sensibilities of his barnstorming breakthrough Joe Speedboat but also unites a number of strands from his earlier work: the bonds of friendship, the loner’s battle with his surroundings, and the shadow cast by an absent mother.