This descriptive and playful 'upstairs downstairs' drama is set in Amsterdam at the turn of the last century. The feel of the period is captured beautifully, and although the story focusses on Piet Barol, a young tutor in a rich family, you feel at the end that you know, and like, a large number of characters very well. It has the feel of a very erotic soap opera and it's tantalisingly readable!
Jacobina rose shakily and put her stockings in a pocket and her feet into her shoes. She had almost lost the power of speech. At last she said, in the curt voice she used to mask awkwardness, 'My compliments, Mr Barol.'
'Thank you, Mevrouw.'
'Je vous en prie.' She went to the door, but hesitated before unlocking it. 'We should wait until you are presentable.'
But erections are harder to surpress the harder one tries, and in the face of Jacobina's scrutiny Piet's stubbornly obeyed this law. This fact was tremendously gratifying to her. Eventually, with a laugh she had last given as a girl of twenty-two, she took from a bookcase a large, privately published history of the Amstel Hotel and handed it to Piet Barol.
'It would be advisable for you to know something of Mr Vermeulen-Sickerts' business interests,' she said briskly. And with that she unlocked the door and stepped on to the landing.