Thanks to those who voted. It was a dead heat between the Koch and Grunberg novels. [Cathy - I took the casting vote and decided on the latter, seeing as I've interviewed him -and Sam Garrett, the translator - and they are both lovely guys.]
Jörgen Hofmeester once had it all: an attractive wife, a nice house with garden in an upperclass Amsterdam neighborhood, a respectable job as an editor of translated fiction, two beautiful, bright daughters named Ibi and Tirza and a large sum of money in a Swiss bank account. As we follow the preparations for his daughter Tirza's graduation party, we come to know what he has lost. His wife left him for a lover, Ibi left Holland to start a bed and breakfast in France, the publishing house fired him and his savings disappeared post-9/11 thanks to a hedge fund. On weekdays he hangs around Schiphol Airport. All Hofmeester still has are his salary, his house and his youngest daughter Tirza, the sunqueen. Suddenly after three years, his wife returns and Tirza gets a new boyfriend named Choukri. Hofmeester thinks Choukri looks like Mohammed Atta. Worse, Tirza and Choukri are going to Africa: the Dark Continent, for a gap year. How will Jorgen cope?