Sep 29, 2015

Dutch Days Book Review: The Girl With Nine Wigs by Sophie van der Stap

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Review by Suze

The Girl With Nine Wigs is an impressive book about a 21-year-old girl who has cancer. Sophie gets a rare diagnosis and an uncertain year for her begins. A year with a lot of downs, but also several ups, because even though she has cancer Sophie manages to embrace life and to find ways to get through the horrific treatments, feeling awful and being afraid. She starts with one wig she doesn't like very much, so soon she buys another one, and another. Sophie ends up with nine wigs that each have their own nickname and matching personality. Stella, Sue, Uma, Daisy, Platina, Blondie, Bébé, Pam and Lydia all have their own benefits and characteristics. They often make Sophie bolder and more confident and because of them she ends up in all kinds of fascinating situations. She can hide behind them, but she's also showing more of herself when she's wearing these wigs.

I read 'Meisje Met Negen Pruiken', which is the original Dutch title of this book pretty soon after it came out. I think it should have been translated into English years ago. I'm glad I can finally share this impressive Dutch book with my readers now. All Dutch women I know have read this book and each of them was and still is equally moved by Sophie's story. She doesn't constantly focus on the medical side of cancer, instead she writes about what it is to go through life with cancer, which means she describes the whole package. Her story is about the encounters she has and how they make her feel. Even if there's a wig that makes Sophie look great she's still vulnerable and she carries her diagnosis with her wherever she goes. 

Sophie is looking for love, like almost everyone else. She meets the most wonderful men and flirts whenever she can, but she wants someone to be close to. Meanwhile her character is rapidly developing, probably a lot more quickly than it would have if she'd remained healthy. She starts her book being a regular girl with so much potential and then she turns into someone extraordinary while she's dealing with a terrible illness. I think that's an amazing achievement and think it's only just that the whole world has the chance to read about it. I think everyone should read her story. It's beautiful and open, it's sometimes sad, but mostly hopeful and the writing is really, really good.

4 comments:

  1. This seems like a really good read. I'm going to add this to my TBR list.

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  2. Great review! When I saw the cover I thought it would be a multi-personality kind of character being portrayed in the story, but I'm falling in love with Sophie already before I even met her! There's something about positivity and optimism in a character that I really admire. Hoping to read this one day!!

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  3. This sounds terrific and I've put it straight on the TBR - thanks :-)

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