The novel “My Heavenly Favourite” by 32-year-old Dutch author, Lucas Rijneveld, “tells the gruesome tale of a 49-year-old vet and father-of-two who develops an infatuation with a troubled 14-year-old girl.”

“The novel explores how the paedophile grooms his teenage victim, while narrating the story from his perspective.”

“This is the second novel of Rijneveld, who won the International Booker Prize for his debut novel The Discomfort of Evening in 2020 (published under his previous name, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, before he came out as non-binary).”

The abuser is a young woman who was raised in a strict and religious household. She is being groomed by him. She lost her older brother when she was a child and was abandoned by her mother; nevertheless, she harbors a secret fascination with male genitalia and yearns for a penis. During the bizarre process of grooming, the paedophile offers his victim a severed otter’s penis, playing on her secret desire, which she conceals in her bedroom. Readers will discover as the characters start to take shape that the girl has a kind of psychosis that makes her think she changed into the second plane that struck the World Trade Center on 9/11 and that she thinks she can communicate with Hitler and Stalin. The book is written from the viewpoint of the abuser, who speaks to his victim in the second person and describes his “love” with explicit metaphors drawn from his work as a veterinarian.

It is truly a sick world which is normalizing anything that is utterly disgusting, abnormal and sick. This is abomination. This is molding a reader’s brain to accept sickness.

And to make it sicker, “critics have lauded ‘My Heavenly Favourite’ as a disturbing yet brilliant literary work set in a small farming community in the Netherlands – a backdrop which reflects the author’s own upbringing.”

Lucas Rijneveld

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