On December 5th, 1946 a bomb is delivered in The Hague, packaged as a Saint Nicholas present. Three ‘bad guys’, collaborators during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in WWII, are killed. The brain behind the operation is a great uncle of Marjolijn van Heemstra. In the family tales the attack subsequently comes to be known as an act of heroism.
On her eighteenth birthday Marjolijn is given the signet ring of the “bomb-nephew” bearing the family crest – with the request to name her first son after him. When she is pregnant years later, she starts a quest to uncover the true story of the Saint Nicholas murders. With her belly the doubts are growing: was the bomb-nephew really a hero or just an ordinary criminal?
This novel is a fascinating page-turner about a myth and about reality, about the good and the bad and about the question what connects a new-born child with its ancestors.