Which is worse than love

"Underneath everything lies a longing for love," says Mathijs Deen. In the novel 'Unter den Menschen' he lets a woman and a man meet at the seaside. The two look at the world very differently and only learn to love each other in the course of history.

So what is love When and how does a relationship work? These are the big questions that also form the basis of Mathijs Deen's novel. The Dutch author does not make it easy for his lovers. Jan and Wil get to know each other through a newspaper ad. She comes from the city, from Amsterdam, and flees the unpredictability of life. She is looking for the solitude of the sea and a man she can control. Wil is afraid of disappointment, also afraid of love, which always remains dangerous and unpredictable. In her childhood and youth she suffered from parental arguments. The expectation that she was responsible for the peace of the family weighed on her - an expectation that was far too high for a child. That is one of the reasons why she fled from the family.

Get to know each other in love

Jan, on the other hand, lives entirely in the tradition of his family. He continues the farm of his deceased parents. Everything he has he got from his parents, but without them he is lonely. Jan is attached to the past, which Wil wants to shake off. Actually, it can't end well - if it weren't for the love that the two lonely people long for so much. Despite all adversities, they stay together and get to know each other and, in the end, love each other too.

Nature as the protagonist

Mathijs Deen tells this love story in clear and concise language, with a focus on the essentials. At the seaside there is not much talk, it is the gestures and actions that are much more eloquent than overflowing conversations can be. The author places the two main characters in a nature that becomes the protagonist itself. The sea gives them answers by mirroring Jan and Wil's feelings. It shows them that only they can find answers to their questions themselves. Jan and Wil learn to be considerate of their indissoluble differences. They stay together because they respect their loneliness in trust and love for one another.

Loneliness is not that bad

In the DOMRADIO.DE interview, Mathijs Deen tells that he has been happily married for 22 years and that his relationship is constantly changing. In the course of a marriage, you have to give your partner the chance to maintain freedom. "And not too much control. Trust is better," he says.

Deen is convinced that people are always alone in themselves. Every reader shares that with his two novel heroes Jan and Wil. You shouldn't expect your partner to dissolve the other's inner loneliness. “But is it so bad that you are lonely and alone in yourself?” Deen asks. "For your own dignity, it is important to have a room for yourself that you can furnish however you want and where you can withdraw a little - and then go outside again. If there is trust, that you can go with it in an emergency can talk to the other and that one can accept where the limits are, the loneliness is not so bad ".