Every so often you read a book which lodges itself inside you. To be remembered, to be reread, examined in introspection, talked about with other bibliophiles, and generally treasured. This is one of those books for me. Markus' manner of placing words with such craft proves he is exactly that: a wordsmith worthy of the name. The characters, the storyline, weave in and out, pulling you along, pulling you into their world. The house full of boys, the donkey, the river bed and bridge; I can still see them, hear them and cry with them, several months after finishing the book. On my RECOMMEND list.