Sybrand is a doctor at a nursing home and did everything by the book and carefully too. Old Mr Mos’ euthanasia went according to plan without any problems whatsoever. But then the management of the late Mos’ nursing home faces difficulties when Mr Mos’ American daughter decides to sue GP Sybrand for murder.
'Just don't answer the phone for a while – make sure you're incommunicado,' is the advice from his manager. But the press has picked up the scent, and Sybrand is being chased by reporters.
He flees to his cottage on a remote Scottish island. But even here, rest is hard to come by. From his kitchen window, he sees a whale washed up on the shore and can hardly believe how the locals treat the animal.
Gijs IJlander describes the slow death of the whale in unique scenes. We see Sybrand’s outrage about how the living giant is being filleted and his panicked reaction to Mr Mos' death. Forgive us our Weakness reminds us how hard it can be to distinguish good from evil, especially when dealing with matters of life and death.
‘Gijs IJlander handles current problems with his new novel. He examines the relevant questions in a well composed and wonderful story without giving in to the temptation to deliver pre-prepared answers.’ – Haarlems Dagblad ****
‘While reading I lost myself in the book. Sometimes it happens that you feel completely at home in a world after a few pages. IJlander’s style isn’t spectacular but it is this restrained language that provides this beautiful ambiance. I felt at home in Forgive us our Weakness, a wonderful novel.’ – Het Parool
‘Gijs IJlander is underestimated as a writer. He has engaging themes, a sharp style and a good sense for literary tension. Books full of riddles that keep you captivated until the final pages. With closing lines without comfort or drama that perfectly illustrate the human weakness. We hope that he will continue writing about them.’ – Trouw
‘Gijs IJlander convincingly shows us the impact of a doctor who assists with the death of one of his patients. All the sentences are correct in this almost Biblical story. This novel is about Sybrand’s figments of his imagination which are described in a grandiose way.’ – Nederlands Dagblad
‘With a skillful pen Gijs IJlander builds up the paranoia of his hero. It is this psychological layer that impresses most.’ – NRC Handelsblad
‘The best thing about Forgive us our Weakness is that the author isn’t trying to deliver a clear cut answer with his novel. He doesn’t make judgments for us. It is a sign of humanity that his protagonist also fails to finds all the answers.’ – Leeuwarder Courant
‘It is beautiful how IJlander’s protagonist gradually changes from a confident doctor into a pathetic fugitive. This novel isn’t just about euthanasia but also about the values of this society. Not with the tone of a teacher but in almost neutral phrasing. And also an exciting story.’ – Friesch Dagblad
‘Despite the Dutch laws for euthanasia, palliative care is still precarious. In his intriguing new novel Gijs IJlander put his finger on the sore spot with precision: the tension between law and a doctor’s conscience. IJlander wrote a wonderful novel in which he places the dilemma’s concerning euthanasia in perspective and which is very close to reality.’ – Medisch Contact
‘IJlander has written a wonderful and tender story. His prose is full of nuance and precision. I give the book 9 out of 10.’ – Libelle
‘A gem of a novel by a honored author.’ – Zin Magazine
‘Gijs IJlander doesn’t write standard novels. This is a special book about life and death, crime and punishment. A literary novel that reads like a thriller.’ – CuttingEdge.be ****
‘Everyone should read this best IJlander novel so far!’ – Literatuurplein.nl
‘Gijs IJlander is unrelenting when he brings you into this penetrating story.’ – author Yvonne Kroonenberg
‘A fine and subdued, colorful and wonderful novel. Gijs IJlander is one of the colleagues I most love to read.’ – author Atte Jongstra