Tessa De Loo

Haarlem 1572. Driven by grief and hatred, following the execution of her youngest daughter, Kenau leads 300 women in a heroic struggle against the Spanish invader, the women fighting side by side with the soldiers. But because she hides her pain behind a mask of indifference she also runs the risk of losing her remaining daughter. A story of grief and loss, of love between a mother and a daughter, rivalry between sisters and the making of choices. A story about a woman, her rights and possibilities during the time of the Eighty Year War between the Dutch and the Spanish, a rarely documented era. A major film of the story came out in the Netherlands in early 2014 from Fu Works Productions, the team behind Black Book and most of the internationally successful Dutch films.

‘The historical fiction genre suits de Loo really well. You certainly don’t need a film in order to visualise the images de Loo creates. The lively narrative style makes it feel as if it all happened yesterday.’ **** NRC Handelsblad

‘Gripping and romantic’ Noordhollands Dagblad

‘The well thought out way in which the historical events are tied to the characters’ personal stories makes KENAU into an irresistibly thrilling book.’ Boek

‘In accessible and gripping prose Tessa de Loo brings the Eighty Years War to life’ Hollands Glorie

‘The author of THE TWINS again hits the spot with this new epic’ Linda

‘Gripping and true to life… KENAU is a beautiful, historical novel about vengeance, courage and love that demands you to read on. Stunningly clever.’ Zin

‘A thrilling page-turner about a courageous heroin’ Flow

‘The historical genre suits De Loo well… she manages to maintain a fresh, lively tone.’ **** NRC Next


  • De Arbeiderspers NL
  • Edhasa Spain & Latin America

Film: Kenau, by Maarten Treurniet, Fu Works Production.

Awarded Audience Choice – Best Feature at The Stony Brook Film Festival, New York – celebrating the best in independent cinema

Material: Dutch edition (290pp). English sample chapters