Last week, I've reread one of the very favourite books of my teenage years: Geef me de ruimte! by Thea Beckman (freely translated Give me space).
In this first book of a trilogy, Marije, daughter of a rich middle class family in the thriving city of Bruges hears she is to marry soon and that to a boy she absolutely can't stand. Spurred by stories about France from a travelling storyteller, Marije runs away with nothing but a set of extra clothes and her trusty horse Victor. Arriving in France, she rescues and later marries the troubadour Berton de Fleur. While war and epidemics rampage through France, Marije, Berton and their traveling companions journey across the country, bringing music, stories and news to all and making friends in high places.
The first time I read this book I must have been about 14 or 15 years old. It started of my 'love affair' with the Middle Ages, where for years I devoured everything (book and movie-wise) connected with this period. But this book also made me a fangirl, even before I knew what being a fangirl meant! I made a list of who I would cast as the characters where these books ever to be adapted.... This was before the age of IMDB, so I simply chose actors and actresses from series I watched and loved at that moment: Doctor Quinn, Road to Avonlea, ER and some Dutch series.
I dearly wish I could find that list again and laugh a little over my teenage fantasies. Not too much though, because don't I still make dream casts in my head (and sometimes on the internet) for books that I would love to see adapted? I'm afraid the list did not survive though and if it did, it's buried on the attic somewhere. But it sure was fun rereading this book and thinking back to the early days of my being a fangirl!
If you would like to read about the single book of Thea Beckman which has been translated in English (and adapted!), read my article about Crusade in Jeans in Femnista May/June 2013 here