Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dutch Treat

Surrounded by boxes and in between thinking about colors and shopping for floors, I try to read as much as possible. It’s not much, but it keeps me sane nevertheless. ;) And thank god for Google Reader too. I might only be lurking, but getting my fix of blog posts and book news keeps me a much nicer person these days. :)

One of the books I’ve read in the past days is Dutch Treat by Andrew Grey.
Leontine tweeted me about it because it was recently released and it’s one of the rare books that’s set in our little country. After I roped her in to write a guest review about the book for me (yay!), I couldn’t resist reading it myself right away. I’m not going to spoil the fun for Leontine by writing about the plot or the romance today, but I was wondering if I’m the only one who loves to read stories that are set in my own country (or state or city).
I bet not… ;)

And I’m not sure, but I suspect that I value these stories higher than I would have when I hadn’t lived in that geographical place. What I like about reading books set in the Netherlands is the perspective of an outsider on our culture, habits and country.

In the case of Dutch Treat I’m well provided with this outsiders perspective, as the main character, Michael, is an American who is relocated to the Netherlands for 5 months. And not only is his the only POV we get in this book, also the major part of the story takes place in the Netherlands. So, it sometimes felt as if the author took me on an excursion in my own country, which was great.

Of course, there were a few things (like spelling, use of names and illogical locations) that could’ve used some proofreading by a Dutch native (I would’ve gladly volunteered, hint, hint ;)). But overall, I can only compliment Mr Grey for the picture he has drawn of the Netherlands. I could sense that he’s actually been here himself – that is, at least in certain parts of our country (as small as our country is, we also have cultural differences between north and south and east and west).

I look forward to hear what Leontine thinks of Dutch Treat. Coincidentally, she’s at the Efteling today, an attraction park that is also described in the book.
Look out for her guest review in three to four weeks!


  1. I love reading stories set in Minnesota, particularly in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St Paul) or just Minneapolis. Heidi Cullinan's most recent release, Dance With Me, is set here! In fact, the scene at the Sculpture Garden takes place in my neighborhood. :)

  2. @Chris: Wow! I don't think I'll ever see the day that a romance novel will take place in my neighborhood, although the chance increases now that I move to a bigger city. ;) In fact, Utrecht was mentioned in Dutch Treat. :D

    By the way, I also love reading stories that take place in cities and countries that I've visited, always hoping that I recognize something. Never been to Minneapolis (yet), but I'll read Dance With Me anyway. :)

  3. I'm with you, Janna. I love reading stuff set in locations I'm familiar with. I don't even mind if the author gets details wrong.

    Recently, I read the first book in Rachel Caine's m/f paranormal romance series Outcast, and she has "high rise apartments" in downtown Albuquerque NM (this doesn't actually exist).

    However, I read a lot of fantasy set in alternate universes, and I was able to say, "No problem. This is obviously HER version of the city."

    And this: some proofreading by a Dutch native (I would’ve gladly volunteered, hint, hint ;)).

    I'm totally going to remember that if I ever write something set in the Netherlands! :D

  4. Familiar locations are the best. I loved reading ZAM's I Heard Him Exclaim in the His For the Holidays anthology as I was quite familiar with all of the locations she mentioned. I live in the suburbs outside of LA and when I read a book that was set in my town I almost fell off my chair. Turns out the author had lived here at one point. :)

  5. @Val: *doing a premature happy dance* How cool would that be! You writing a story set in the Netherlands! :D
    I get what you say about that you don't even mind if the author gets details wrong. I'm rather forgiving about that too. It's just so awesome to begin with that a story is set in your neighborhood/city/country. :)

    @Tracy: I read that ZAM story too and to be honest I didn't even remember where it was set, lol. But how exciting to discover something like this when you start reading a story, isn't it? Yep, familiar locations are definitely the best! :D

  6. I've only read a few books set around my location and it's always a rush. Especially when they get things right. :)

  7. @Lily: I think I've recently read a book set around your location too. At least I think it was. It's Like Coffee and Doughnutts. But I might be wrong and I guess it also depends on what one's definition of your location is, lol. The state of Florida is probably 10 times as big as the Netherlands. ;)

  8. Janna, I just read that one a few days ago as well. Another one set in my area is K.A. Mitchell's Collision Course.

  9. I always find if I know the location of a book then it gives me an...added connection (if that makes sense :)


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