‘The undeniable nostalgic atmosphere [is] strengthened by the beautiful metaphors – especially in the descriptions of the landscape - and with a few magic realistic story elements.’

Drs. Elly Poppe-Stolk, NBD BIBLION


‘Dutch is free,’ said Kader Abdolah at the writing school. Kristina Goikoetxea Langarika remembered this well. She is of Spanish origin, has lived in the Netherlands since 1995, and wrote her debut novel Evamar in Dutch. The novel did not suffer from this. The cover text about ‘three generations of women’ makes you fear another refined ladies book about ‘strong’ women. That is not the case at all. The nice thing about this very Spanish book is that it is about lost chances. (...) Goikoetxea chooses three women who feel misplaced. You barely notice that she wrote directly in Dutch, although the rhythm is indeed more Spanish than Dutch. It may be the writer’s Basque origin which has allowed her to escape the cliché of the Spanish chicklit. The result is a book that is easy to read, and offers an insight into life in a village in the shadow of a city, from the Civil War to the post Franco era”.

Nico Hylkema – Leeuwarder Courant


‘Evamar is a touching family novel, where the contrasts between village and city, war and peace and tradition and modernity play an important role.’

PZC, Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant


'Kristina Goikoetxea Langarika writes seasoned Dutch with a figurative language all of her own. Her atmosphere, usage and themes remind you think of the equally imaginary village Obaba from the latest book of the Basque literary superstar Bernardo Atxaga. This book is called Soinujolearen semea and was published in Dutch after an indirect translation from Spanish as De zoon van de accordeonist. Uranda and Obaba both fought both in the civil war, mostly on the side of the dictator, both books have magic realistic elements, and both authors are practiced in the art of omission. (…) Goikoetxea is an acquisition for Dutch culture because of her own writing style and sound which she introduces into Dutch literature. Whoever wants to experience a Basque debut novel in the Dutch language must read this book.’

Onno P. Falkena - Meervoud


'In her debut novel Evamar the writer captures Spain’s image-rich tradition in the Dutch language.’

Onze Wereld


'Kristina Goikoetxea Langarika, originally from the Basque Country, has written a fine debut novel. Her sentences are strong and concise without unnecessary ornamentation. The story about these three generations from a small village captures the imagination. The relations, traditions, fights, but also support within the family are beautifully laid out against the backdrop of the history of the country.’

Hester from Bookshop Pantheon Boekhandel


'Passion, secrets, resistance – with an irresistible dynamic. A glowing debut novel.’

Thomas Verbogt, writer


'I could have gone on reading for hours. It is a very emotive work, well written and composed, with an original and surprising end and with characters that are really alive and believable. The book recounts the strain between village and city, tradition and modernity, young and old, with a heart-rending narrative strength. The implicit is transmitted in a masterly way. A pair of brushstrokes evoke visually Almodovarian images. The work is of a timeless character thanks to its witty narrative. The style is natural, brief, easy (staccato) and sincere. It owns a dramatic charge which gives you goose pimples at times. You can really taste some of the metaphors. The text is so penetrating that sometimes it feels like you are reading mantras."

Goedele de Sterck, literary translator.

'When you start to read, you may think you have already read a book like it, but as the book progresses it turns out to be totally the opposite of what you expected. This is what I like the most, to be surprised.'           

Annemarie from the bookshop Pantheonboekhandel.


'I was really inspired by the fantasy of the book and the fact that the characters are not psychologically analysed, but instead they are just there, planted like trees facing the vicissitudes of the good, the bad and the ugly moments in life, and yet so alive! I felt the magic of my own village in Venezuela... The legends that come with the ancestors, the history that we cannot document with books, but only in our fantasy. The superstition of the grandmothers with their amulets and concoctions. Evamar is a small history which becomes big because of the way it is told.'

Nelys Velazquez.


'It is written totally like a film script. If you film what it is written, you can get a film by itself. There are brilliant details in this book. What I liked the most is the apparent absence of the teller. It looks as if the story tells itself on its own, as if the story did not need the writer to write it. I found Evamar touching and convincing from the beginning to the end'.

Erik Pezarro, film translator.