The Widower - Ray Kluun

Honestly, the reason why I bought this book was its cover. Yes, look at it, it really attracts people's attention, it's so beautiful, so feminine, so red, all in all is so eye-catching.

The story is about Dan Van Diepen and his three-year-old daughter, Luna. Dan lost his wife, Carmen to cancer. After the death of Carmen, Dan stop working and drown himself in the party scenes of Amsterdam. He doesn't spend a single night alone and allows no time for grieving. His friends worry for him and Luna.

But after the 9/11 tragedy , all of sudden, he think s of Luna. He remembers his promise to Carmen that however difficult it might sometimes be, he'll take good care of their daughter.

Then, Dan visited Nora, his spiritual therapist, who said that Dan has to re-arrange his life, stay away from drink, women, drugs and last but not least Amsterdam. He must stop the grief avoidance. Nora continues that Dan must go traveling, take along Luna, she'll teach him how wonderful it is to love someone again.

Dan follows the advices, they starts their journey in Thailand, then continues to Australia, where they stay in a camper van. They get exciting experiences together.

Some parts of the story make me laughing, while others truly touch me indeed.

Check some excerpts here, smart conversation between Dan and Luna (page 196):
'You're nice, Papa,' Luna said.
'That's why I'm Papa,' Dan replied.

'I have to be extra nice to you because Mama's dead,' she said. 'Because you cry even more often than I do,' she added.

I (Dan) resolve to keep my tears hidden from her more often from now on. I don't think it's good that she feels responsible for her father's well-being.
See, it's so touching!

Another conversation really makes me weeping (page 223):
'Luna, we're going to eat now,'
Luna, we're going. Come on.'

She starts stamping harder. And crying. I start feeling like a fool.
'Luna, I'm going to count to three.'
She starts crying even harder.


The crying turns into screaming.
She shakes her head like one possessed.
Three...' I furiously pull her with me. She screams hysterically as I drag her behind me along the grass like a doll.
I take her face between my fingers, 'Are you going to bloody well behave yourself now?!' I scream into her face.
She screams back.
I turn her over roughly and slap her on the bum.
'I-I-I-wa-aa-ant to-hoo go-ho- to Mama.'
'You can't go to Mama. Mama is completely fucking dead!'
I slump on the ground next to Luna ands start crying along with her. sad!!!!!

The author, Ray Kluun was a marketing man in a previous life. In 2001, he lost his thirty-six-year-old wife to cancer. Kluun took his daughter, Eva (then three years old) to Australia and wrote his first novel, Love Life, which became a bestseller in Europe. I'm just curious since this novel and Kluun's real life story almost similar, would it be possible that some parts of this novel are based on true story???


Anonymous July 6, 2008 at 7:09 AM  

Have you read Love life? It's really good. Yes the books are based on his life, you can find interviews on google...