I think I was supposed to find this book more profound and moving than I did. Maybe it's the short story format, maybe it's some sort of distance created between the reader and the characters, but I wasn't feeling it.
I did not like the first story at all, see my comments here:
The other stories were better.
The main reason it's still getting 3 stars is because it made me homesick. I don't know if the writing was particularly evocative, but my brain was very willing provide me with images of the polders near Delfzijl and how different that area is from the area near Westerbork where Saskia grew up, and the images of Den Haag, Delft, de Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam, etc. I wonder if non-Dutch readers would just be confused by all the place name dropping, on the other hand.