The Turn in the Road
Apprenticed to his uncle Joris Hessels, a respected Netherlands cloth-merchant, 14-year-old Steven finds himself plagued by worry for his future. He frets that his status as a penniless orphan undercuts his prospects for entering the wealthy world of commerce and its links to the glamorous life of the nobility. Old Rolf, the hired journeyman, tries to redirect his thoughts, but Steven, busy and preoccupied, is not ready to listen.
When a series of misfortunes threaten ruin for his uncle, Steven suddenly finds himself responsible for helping Rolf transport Joris’s goods safely to the fair at Utrecht, where they will try to sell the cloth to recover losses. His lively young cousin Else, who goes with them, must also be protected along the road. With possible danger ahead not only to their livelihood, but to their very lives, Steven begins to understand at last that even the smallest action can change the course of a journey, and even a life.
Against the vivid, bustling background of life in 13th-century Holland, Cateau De Leeuw weaves a satisfying, true-to-life story of a boy’s struggle into manhood.