"My friend @aliefka The Consul General's Wife, downloaded 70,000 times in Holland, Now in English http://amzn.to/OWRehX - THIS BOOK ROCKS!"
"Just finished reading Aliefka's novel and felt I was right back into holiday reading page turning mode. This is a really strong story that tightens its grip on you as you move through the pages towards its soulful, horrifying and tragic end. A wonderful read reminiscent of a Graham Greene, Anita Brookner or Jeanette Winterson novel. If you're looking for a really good read- this is the one!"
Charles Liburd, producer and screenwriter. On Facebook.
"I really enjoyed this book. The life of diplomat Melchior is stripped of all pretences in a controlled and subtle way. Very patiently, layer after layer. The opportunism is apparent and leads to its dramatic end. Sadly comical. Leandra is the opposite and ultimately she survives the whole ordeal in a better way. I recommend this book, especially to anyone who wants to cast a glance into the world of Foreign Affairs. It may seem to be about the old school, but it is still the dominating culture and is enforced by a group of people who lead lives far away and who aren't always held in check. This creates colourful characters. Another interesting aspect is how the culture change in that type of world resonates in daily life, especially when one doesn't see it coming. Great book and looking forward to the next!"
P. Taminiau, marketeer. On amazon.
"A painstakingly honest look behind the scenes of a department, that was somehow overlooked by the code of sanity."
R. Mollinger, diplomat. On bol.com.
"I couldn't put it down. Melchior, the narcissist main character, is delicately countered by his wife Leandra. And then there's Nikki's perception, the intern, which balances the novel by stripping it of judgement. Her position almost seems like a Greek chorus. The post-colonial theme is reflected by the relationships between the housekeeper from Ghana who is called Mercy and Leandra. Mercy's lifelong obedience to Melchior leads to a painful, dramatic climax. Very sad. As a woman in this global world, I sympathize with these themes and aspects. And as a reader, you can't help but love the flamboyant main character, despite his flaws. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in man's universal flaws, as well as a curiosity regarding the effects of globalization on who we are."
Jennifer Peersman, children's book author. On amazon.
"A wonderful tragic comedy, which comes down hard on its characters but does so with great sense of detail and analysis. The life of a diplomat in Rio de Janeiro is typified through sharp observations and powerful dialogue, written from within. I recommend it! "
Pieter Bart Korthuis, screenwriter and author. On amazon.
"The main character -Melchior Steenbergen -in Aliefka Bijlsma's "The Consul General's Wife" is less layered and therefore somewhat less tragic than Lowry's Geoffry Firmin, but he nears Firmin in his tragic comedic demasqué as a diplomat. Especially in her dialogue, and in the subtle atmospheric descriptions she uses, Bijlsma proves she is an international author. As a reader, you are easily drawn in and taken away. In second instance, you come to realize the story has great impact on the personal experience of one's own 'condition humaine'."
E. van Wijk, lecturer & assessments. On bol.com.
"I thought it was beautiful. I loved the way the use of language didn't only have a stilistic function but had true meaning themewise, particularly in the scenes between Melchior and Mercy in that little apartment. The scene I liked most was how Mercy slips away. That is so well done. Another great scene is the one between Melchior and his old friend in The Hague. The author deserves a lot of readers. The character of Melchior reminded me a little of Tirza's father in Grunberg's novel."
M.Gerritsen, author. On amazon.
"The Consul General's Wife describes the tragic-comedic downfall of a self-proclaimed gentleman. Aliefka Bijlsma's descriptions of the characters are so precise, they actually come to life. The inevitable fate her characters are heading towards, becomes clearer with every page turned. For that reason, I couldn't put the book down."
E. Wieringa, lecturer and researcher. On bol.com.
"I was anxious to read this book. And I loved it!
There are elements for everyone here: dark humor, romance, reflections on life, and points of view from both men and women. The epitome of well-written, contemporary fiction, the book reads quite true to life. The main character is flawed yet likable, his wife interesting with her own story and foibles, and the other characters, Mercy and Nikki, smaller roles but clearly important.
If you want a smart book to read which reflects on our society, I recommend this book. It's such a visual read -- I can still see the characters in my head! I think it would make a terrific movie.
Rachel Thompson, author. On amazon.
"Beautiful and atmospheric novel with powerful characters. Read it in one go. The novel describes the slow downfall of a Consul General in powerful scenic strokes. Well written and good pacing."
E. Bloemers, web editor. On bol.com.