The Bonave-trilogy consists of three novels, situated in France, written in the Dutch language by the independent author Tineke Aarts. This 900 pages literary project tells the story of a family of Cahors winemakers over seven generations, from 1865 to present days.
The author Tineke Aarts lives in France since 2002 and was inspired by the French culture and history. It is an entirely fictional family saga, inspired by the phylloxera disaster, the legends about Cahors wines and the dramatic history with two world wars and their impact on families. The trilogy can be qualified as upmarket womens fiction.
The first novel ‘Familiebezit’ appeared 2004 at editing house Arena in Amsterdam. Tineke Aarts regained the rights, and republished this novel with the second tome ‘Marguerite’ in june 2016 as an independant author and editing house.The last novel of the series will appear in september 2017 (Geboren uit een roos).
“Familiebezit” (Inherited past) appeared in 2004, re-appeared in 2016.
“Marguerite“ appeared for the Netherlands in june 2016
“Geboren uit een roos” (Born from a rose) to be launched in the Netherlands in september 2017.
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Summary of the novel Inherited past
During her wedding in France, the Dutch Juliette Bonave realises that her marriage isn’t offering any perspective. She leaves everything behind by settling in the deserted vineyard that she inherited from her French grandmother. Gradually, Juliette finds out what made her break up so abruptly and what she wants from life; these are other values than the money-driven world of her husband has to offer. Finding an old correspondence, she learns about the turbulent history of her French family: in 1880 the vine louse completely ruined their vine yards, later all man in the hamlet were send to the Great War. Never the family estate seemed to have brought much luck. When Juliette meets a new man, a colleague vine culturist, the continuation of their passionate relationship doesn’t seem up to them. Many influences are involved: rivalries and a very old family history are slowly and fatally turning against Juliette.
Thomas Rosenboom, dutch writer on the backside cover: ‘The theme of the novel is rather lack, than possession, rather courage than love. Until the old vine of the family tradition start shooting off and blossoming. A novel like a vine, taste: full but not heavy, and rich on contrasts.’
The Bonave-trilogy tells the story of three strong women of the French family Bonave: Juliette, Virginie and Marguerite – women who cling to their ideals, even when they encounter opposition.
Tineke Aarts studied language and literature at the University of Tilburg and wrote about literature for the Brabant Pers. She worked for many years as a communications consultant in The Hague and wrote about her experiences with former colleague Carien Verhoeff the successful book, Leven met een baas (Living with a boss), edited by The Boekerij, Amsterdam 2000. In 2004 was first published the debut novel Familiebezit (Inherited past), Arena, Amsterdam 2004.
Tineke Aarts is interested in the question what people drive in work and private life, the need to affirm oneself. When it is not possible to influence the outside world, the wish to be in control will turn towards the private world. She admitted in interviews that living in the rural France (Cahors region) have changed her life profoundly. She writes on environmental issues, creates butterfly gardens and photographed over 400 moths and butterflies in her French garden.
LitNet: Tineke Aarts knows how to create and hold suspense. She is a gifted narrator, the story is told in an evocative style. The story of Juliette Bonave, a woman that has to build up a new live in a conservative village is chronologically told and gives the same sensation as the Oscar-winning film Antonia of Marleen Gorris. (…)The narrator varies descriptions and reflections with real-life dialogues in an accessible, fluent and stirring style. For example, the story of ‘the curse of Benoit’ – why the land of Juliette is said to be cursed – is a beautiful local tale, ingenuously included in the plot. Every time something goes wrong in the life of Juliette, the narrator subtly refers to that old local history. (…) The novel tells hardly one year out of the life of Juliette and could easily have been three times this size. The novel has it all, but the end makes us wonder how the story continues
Biblion: As a reader you get involved by the care for the deserted family estate. You understand why a young and realistic woman like Juliette gets under influence of superstition and local tales. A convincing and idyllic novel.
Nouveau: To the background of the beautiful region of Cahors in the South west of France, Tineke Aarts describes both the desperation and the perseverance of Juliette. A rousing story.
Avantgarde: The novel has the ingredients: a deserted dream house in France that demands restoration, superstition in a small village and a new, promising love affair. Nevertheless, it takes a while before you get to know Juliette and start to understand her motives.
Marie Claire: A well-written novel, full of atmosphere, to be read in one go.
Chicklit: Right from the beginning you’re in the story. Tineke Aarts writes like you’re looking at a movie; you see the small village where Juliette lives, you feel the eyes that are watching her behind a kitchen window. Juliette feels it too, but she stays and that decision changes her life. It is a story you won’t forget. Principally, it’s the atmosphere that stays by. A French, melancholic atmosphere.
Midi: A ‘feel good’ novel, first class!