Madame Verona Comes Down The Hill

Dimitri Verhulst

Published: 5 August 2010
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 160 pages
ISBN: 9781846271571

Translated by David Colmer


Years ago, Madame Verona and her husband built a home for themselves on a hill in a forest above a small village. There they lived in isolation, practising their music, and chopping wood to see them through the cold winters. When Mr Verona died, the locals might have expected that the legendary beauty would return to the village, but Madame Verona had enough wood to keep her warm during the years it would take to make a cello - the instrument her husband loved - and in the meantime she had her dogs for company. And then one cold February morning, when the last log has burned, Madame Verona sets off down the village path, with her cello and her memories, knowing that she will have no strength to climb the hill again. Poignant, precise and perfectly structured, this is a story of one woman's tender and enduring love - as a wife, and as a widow.

About the author

Image of Dimitri Verhulst

Born in Belgium in 1972, Dimitri Verhulst is the author of a collection of short stories, a volume of poetry and several novels, including Problemski Hotel (Marion Boyars) which was translated into English in 2003. All his books are widely translated in Europe and receive a lot of critical praise More about the author


‘A brilliantly eccentric fable ... Verhulst is a writer of great charm, his tale of grief snaking its way effortlessly between the ludicrous and the poignant’ Cameron Woodhead



‘A delightful oddity of a book ... written in a quirky style, and manages to be witty, wise and moving’ David Wood

‘A fable of enduring passion’

‘Ageing, bereavement and death are sombre themes, yet this novel's treatment of them is agreeably entertaining ... this tale of enduring love is often preposterous, sometimes poignant and, above all, consistently charming’ Peter Carty

‘An intimate, unsentimental portrayal of European rural life ... In Verhulst's landscape, nature is ruthless, amoral and never benign, and human memory a cruel mirage ... His best sentences are gorgeously resonant’ Gordon Darroch

‘It's rare to find a book that captures so many emotions. Rich in descriptive voice, Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill is a warm and affectionate novel ... A charming novel by one of the Netherlands' rising stars, Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill is a timeless novel about love, loss and village life’ Cherie Federico

‘The book is not a slice of the bucolic rural, and while dealing with dark matters is not grim either. Rather, it delicately toys with the whimsical, in a love story about decay’ Lucy Sussex

‘You taste the God-given writing talent in almost every sentence’

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