Uitgeverij De Geus
ISBN: 9789044525014 
6e druk

Over 35.000 copies sold in The Netherlands and Belgium.

Awards and nominations

DWDD Boek van de Maand september 2018

Shortlist Confituur Boekhandelsprijs 2019

Shortlist Jongerenliteratuurprijs 2019

Longlist Libris Literatuurprijs 2019  

Longlist 2021 International Booker Prize


Bulgarian (…) ICU Publishing (2022)

English (Summerbrother) World Editions – trans: David Doherty (2021)

Czech (Letní Srst) Albatros – Vysehrad – trans: Veronika ter Harmsel Havlíková (2021)

Russian (…) Mann, Ivanov & Ferber (2022)

Slovenian (Bratov Kožuh) Mladinska Knjiga – trans: Stana Anzelj (2021)

Turkish (…) Kafka Kitap (2022)

FILM adaptation

Producer: Family Affair
Script: Britt Snel
Director: Joren Molter


Summer Brother (Zomervacht)

Thirteen-year-old Brian lives in a trailer on a forgotten patch of land with his divorced and uncaring father. His older brother Lucien, physically and mentally disabled, has been institutionalized for years. While Lucien’s home is undergoing renovations, he is sent to live with his father and younger brother for the summer. Their detached father leaves Brian to care for Lucien’s special needs. But how do you look after someone when you don’t know what they need? How do you make the right choices when you still have so much to discover?

Guest at VPRO Boeken about Summer Brother
DWDD talkshow: Boek van de Maand

Radio 1 with Özcan Akyol
Radio 1 about Summer Brother with Jellie Brouwer
Radio 4 about Summer Brother with Annemieke Bosman

‘Robben is wonderful at drawing characters with just a few deliberate strokes.’ ‘Like a photographer shooting a portrait, Robben captures his subjects in “Summer Brother” in a focused close-up. It’s intimate, even claustrophobic at times, just as life must be for an isolated boy like Brian, looking with wonder to the lights on the hill.’ The New York Times

‘A deeply humane novel centred on a disabled man, his heroic younger brother and an unreliable, partly criminal father living on an all but derelict site. The book is generous to all its flawed characters, is beautifully written and humanises lives of abject poverty on the edge of squalor and disaster.’  International Booker Prize 2021

‘Humorous and shrewd novel… evocative coming-of-age novel.’ ‘Astute characterisations.’ ‘Robben depicts the limitations of a dysfunctional family but also celebrates empathy as a force for good.’ The Observer – The Guardian

More reviews

Animated Booktrailer made by Mirjam Debets when Zomervacht  was chosen by the DWDD Bookpanel as their Book of the Month.

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