Jacob Todd has come to Holland to celebrate the Battle of Arnhem where his grandfather fought and died. He is robbed in an Amsterdam cafe and ends up meeting a series of people, all of whom have something to teach him about life. In particular, the three generations of the family which looked after his grandfather during the war each has something to tell him which will open his eyes.

In short, this book is a vehicle for the promotion of loose sex of any sort, a liberal lifestyle, and positive euthanasia. The jacket blurb describes the book as “a richly-layered novel, spanning 50 years… interweaving Jacob’s exploration of new relationships in contemporary Amsterdam,” but of the nature of these “new relationships” and what “contemporary Amsterdam” has to offer it remains silent. I cannot see what any youngster could gain from this book. If I were a proponent of the attitudes it espouses, I wouldn’t find it an especially interesting read, and as I’m not, I find it quite disgusting.

Tim Golden is a computer programmer living in London. He is also the editor of the Good-to-Read website.